So why almsgiving in Lent?
Lent is about the commemorating the Passion of Jesus. And the Passion of Christ is not just about pain and suffering, it is about love. Christ loves us so much that He is willing to pay for our sins and die for us. His passion is His total gift of Himself to us. So you can say that Lent is commemoration God’s love for each and one of us through Christ.
"For God so loved the world that he GAVE his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
If God gave, so should we.
Giving alms is not a “get-out-of-purgatory” or “get-out-of-hell” card. It is not something you do mechanically, because love is not something you do mechanically.
Giving alms is something we do because we love God and our neighbor. When we give something to the least of our brethren, we do it to Christ Himself.
And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. (Matthew 25:40)
When we give alms to the poor, it must NOT come from pity, but from a loving heart.
"The poor do not need our sympathy and our pity. The poor need our love and compassion" - Mother Teresa
Pity looks down on the poor, love lifts them up. Giving alms is not just giving money or whatever, it is about giving our very self to our brothers and sisters. That is the reason that the Church suggest that what you save in your fasting you give to the poor. In doing so, what should be yours (your meal -which you worked for), is given away. You give not from your excess, but from your own need.
"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving." – Mother Teresa
This lent, we must be Christ's arms...reaching out in love.
Written by Daxx Bondoc