Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
(Galatians 5:1-6; Luke 11:37-41)
All great religions stress the importance of almsgiving. It is one of the five obligations of every Muslim. Jews find testimony of it in their Scriptures written in the last centuries before Christ. Jesus speaks of its importance to cleansing the soul in today’s gospel. Then why do people have such difficulty giving money to the poor?
The reason is not hard to imagine. Often enough recipients of alms do not use them for basic needs. Rather they purchase peripheral goods and sometimes harmful substances. As much as this is the case giving alms implicates one in an evil. But there are other ways to help those begging assistance.
Perhaps befriending the poor, listening to the stories of their lives, and providing them with food is the best thing that can be done. Also, when we see them on a street corner soliciting cars passing by, we might promise ourselves to send a donation to Catholic Charities or the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Finally, praying for the poor not only secures God’s help but reminds us to do what we can.