Prayer and fasting are good, but almsgiving with a pure heart is better
9th Week in Ordinary Time : Saturday, 5th June 2021
Tob. 6:10-11; 7:1,9-17; 8:4-9; Ps. 127:1-2,4-5; Mk. 12:28-34 (Ps Wk I)
The reading from Tobit emphasises the importance of good deeds and piety. When Tobit and Tobias gave Raphael a generous bonus for bringing Tobias and his bride home safely, Raphael encouraged them to praise God for all he had done. Raphael also stressed the importance of almsgiving more than fasting and prayer while saying that all three were good.
Raphael revealed that he was one of the seven angels of the Lord and had been sent to test Tobias and to heal him. After encouraging them to acknowledge God, Raphael ascended into heaven as Jesus did many years later.
Jesus was contrasting the behaviour of the scribes and the poor widow. The scribes were showy and loved to be treated with great respect and to display their piety. The widow very quietly gave her offering out of her poverty. Jesus even hinted that the scribes encouraged the poor to give sacrificially while the scribes gave out of their abundance. Jesus respects the poor but has no respect for those who harass them to give more than they can afford.
Both readings emphasise that prayer and fasting are good, but almsgiving with a pure heart is better.
Lord, help me to be generous with others and to worship You with a pure heart.
End with Novena Prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – Day 3 of 9
Theme: Jesus the friend of sinners