It is 5th March 2019. The readings are from Sirach 35:1-12; and the Gospel from Mark 10:28-31. The smell of sacrifice is sacred, pleasing, and acceptable to the Lord. Sacrifices secrete generosity of heart and of soul. We need to learn giving God the best of what we have received from the Lord not out of compulsion or to attract attention. God expects us to sacrifice that pleases, praises, pleads for forgiveness. In every offering, there is a heart, love and acknowledgement. God cannot be bribed by anything. Sacrifices and offertories need to come out of pure intentions of our hearts. The first reading teaches us that following the commandment of the Lord equates all sacrifice. Sacrifices are multiplied by the one who follows the commandment of God. Our generosity must always accompany cheerfulness of the spirit. We owe the Lord through our generous heart that must be shown in our regular and consistent tithes, offertory and personal sacrifices. “Give to the Most High as he has given to you, and as generously as you can afford.” (Sir.35:12). Sacrifice of gratitude is displayed by the way we treat and love the others. Our sacrifices are the proofs of our love for the Lord. Let our proportion of giving need to match the proportion we have received from the Lord. Let us not delay and deny the tithes that are due to the Lord. May our generosity be genuine always. Murmuring minds multiply wilful forgetfulness in giving the best to the Lord and hardens the heart to a level of using the resources for one’s own benefits. The responsorial acclaims, “To the upright I will show the saving power of God.” The Gospel instructs us that offering our lives for God and for the others is the perfect and noblest offering that pleases God. Offering our very selves to God remains pleasing to God. “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings, you have taken no pleasure.” (Heb. 10:6) Giving ourselves entirely to the Lord is what a virtuous sacrifice stands for. St Paul reminds us, “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Rom 12:1). If Christ is the reason for all our sacrifices, we are surely granted eternal life. We need to make a sacrifice of our life for the Kingdom of God. There is no crown without cross; there is no promise without persecution; and there is no love without sacrifice. May the Lord help us to open our heart to be generous to the Lord and the needy around. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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