Almsgiving during Lent
Almsgiving, whereby we escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure a future that does not belong to us. And thus to rediscover the joy of God’s plan for creation and for each of us, which is to love him, our brothers and sisters, and the entire world, and to find in this love our true happiness. - Pope Francis' 2019 Lenten Message
Insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves...Wow, that drives it home. During Lent, we are invited to greater charity. Lent is a time for greater awareness of all that we have and a call to share our riches with those who have less. Combining almsgiving with fasting - giving up an evening out or daily Starbucks and instead giving the money you'd spend to those in need - is a common practice during Lent. Take time this Lent to consider ways you might increase your charity to others, and participate in two opportunities that we provide here at Ascension.
- On the first weekend of each month (during lent this will be March 6 and 7), we invite the community to donate infant/child diapers, adult diapers and baby wipes to give to Catholic Charities in Cicero. This is a consistent need that we were asked to address. Please bring diapers or wipes to the church between 4:30-6:00 pm on Saturday, March 6, or 7:30-11:00 am on Sunday, March 7. Learn more at www.ascensionoakpark.com/apps/pages/diaperdrive. Thank you!
- On the third weekend of each month (during lent this will be February 20 and 21 and March 20 and 21), we collect food for the food pantry at St. Martin de Porres in Chicago. Please bring bags of food to the church between 4:30-6:00 pm on the Saturday, or 7:30-11:00 am on the Sunday of these two weekends. Again, the need is all the greater this year due to COVID-19. Donations may be dropped off in the southeast corner of church before/after weekend masses or handed to an usher/greeter at the front of church.
Charitable giving is a very ancient practice; almsgiving was normative long before the time of Jesus. The Lenten call to almsgiving means making the needs of other people our own. One of the central lessons of the cross is compassion; the heavy burdens we carry help us to appreciate the suffering in others. Sharing our material goods is often just the beginning of real Christian giving. We are also called to share our time tending to people in need. - From TeachingCatholicKids.com