It is 28th February 2017. The readings are from Sir. 35:1-12; and the Gospel Mark 10:28-31. The first reading clarifies about our attitude towards the offering we owe to Lord daily. Many a times, we break our heads and hearts to decide how much must we offer to the Lord. We must be generous to God as much as God is generous to us. There is no one has a valid reason to justify not to give to the Lord. God rewards our generosity of heart. Let our offertory be genuine and from the deep recess of our hearts. The offering we bring during the worship is not to impress someone out there rather to express our gratitude to God for all that we are enjoying up until today. It is not enough to thank the Lord with singing, dancing, praying alone but we must offer the Lord with the things God himself has given to us. We have been taught time immemorial to offer our tithes and sacrifices to God without fail. No offering to be brought to the church for self-glory and advertisement but with the grateful hearts in an undisclosed way. We must begin to offer our very selves to the Lord and followed by all material and monetary sacrifices. When we truly follow the Lord and the Commandments, we cannot stop giving the best of what we have received from the Lord. “Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed, for all these things are to be done because of the commandment.” (Sir.35:4,5). We too cannot cover up our injustices and abuses against the poor just by our offerings. The sacrifices and offerings are not a blanket to cover our wickedness and injustices. Surely, our offerings are not bribes we make to God but they are our profound gifts to God to obtain due blessings and favours. In attempting to do away with the evil, injustice and wickedness from our lives daily against the other, we need to flavor our spiritual lives with our personal sacrifices and offerings. God loves the aroma of our sincere and generous offerings. Moreover, our offertories and sacrifices anoint the Altar and our stinginess makes the Altar go empty. Our offerings truly become acceptable and rich when we add cheerfulness and smile to them. “With every gift show a cheerful face, and dedicate your tithe with gladness. Give to the Most High as he has given, and as generously as your hand has found.” (Sir.35:9,10). The responsorial Psalm sings, “I will show God’s salvation to the upright.” (Ps.49:23). The Gospel assures to all those who make sacrifices will be paid here on earth and thereafter. The reward is so sure for those who put Christ and the kingdom of God before all else. Whatever we give-up and sacrifice will be paid in hundred-fold. We obtain the spiritual freedom only giving and making in offering our very selves to the Lord. May we make a meaningful and fruitful offering to the Lord who gives us ungrudgingly. May you have a good day.

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