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Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Ecclus. 35:1-12 & Mk. 10:28-31

An exhortation to us to be generous to God when we offer our gifts is the message of today's first reading. We should be cheerful, not stinting in the first fruits we bring, and we are assured that God will reward us seven times over. This is because giving presents is a beautiful expression of love: the more we love a person, the more valuable we wish our gift to be. And yet a precious gift may be meaningless if it is offered as a mere gesture and not as a sign of true love and dedication.

No one can give gifts as God can. His best gift to us was His Son Who in His turn gave His life on the Cross as a gift to His Father to save us His sinful brothers and sisters. No gift could have been more precious or meaningful. His sacrifice was the greatest act of love the world has ever seen. Every time we come to Mass Jesus makes that sacrifice a present reality among us. He does not die again nor does He repeat His sacrifice. Rather the one unique act of the gift of Himself is made present for our benefit. Is it not wonderful to know, even though we are born centuries after this act, that we are not deprived of sharing in it?

To offer the Mass is the greatest act of love that we can perform. But we have to be very careful that it does not become a meaningless gesture devoid of love. The better that we try to be as a person the more pleasing is our offering to the Father. We have to be more loving and caring, more patient, less jealous, less of a gossip, more forgiving today than we were yesterday. Everything that is negative in us must be put to death in the death of Jesus at Mass. Like St. Peter in the Gospel, we have to say, “We have left everything and followed you.” We can also offer all our joys and our sorrows, our hopes and disappointments, our successes and our failures.

Lord Jesus, help us to join our lives with Yours, and to pray earnestly to the Father that, in the words of the Third Eucharistic Prayer, “May He make of us an everlasting gift to You.”

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