In today’s gospel, the Lord encourages us to be charitable. He asks us to be mindful of those who are less fortunate than we are in terms of health and finances. While he does not prohibit us from spending our resources to celebrate special events with family and friends, he tells us it will infinitely be more rewarding to share our blessings with those in need.
The saint for today, St Charles Borromeo, exemplified this gospel value. Even though he was a scion of a noble family, he gave up a life of prestige and luxury to serve the Church. He is remembered particularly for using his inheritance to fund seminaries, and increased the systems to help the sick and the poor. During his term as Bishop of Milan, when the plague nearly devastated the city, he valiantly went about helping sick residents, and administered the last sacraments to those who were dying.
With the holidays fast approaching, instead of lavishing our loved ones with expensive presents, perhaps we can divert some of our shopping money to a charitable institution. Who is the Lord asking us to invite to our banquet this Christmas season?