Ordinary Time
Saturday of the Ninth Week

“Prayer with fasting is good. Almsgiving with righteousness is better than wealth with wickedness. It is better to give alms than to store up gold ...” (Tobit 12:8)

Saint Gaudentius of Brescia  offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Frist Reading:

“It is written that fasting with almsgiving is a good thing. It was necessary to do both, to mitigate the Lord’s indignation. Perhaps you cannot fast, and you cannot because you do not want to — at least give food to someone who is hungry. You who cannot stand to fast for three hours past the usual hour can certainly understand what someone would suffer who unwillingly goes hungry because of his poverty. Your cruelty forces him to fast, you who, fattened by sumptuous banquets, do not think to relieve the poor person’s hunger with even a little food. You point to the possibility of famine, you pretend to be in need, you complain of unfavorable circumstances. You beg more shamefully than that poor person — indeed, you behave toward God like an ingrate with your false complaining. But what if there was a famine? Would you perhaps be the only one to feel it, and not that poor person? How is it that every day you lay out new silver, beautify your houses with marble, buy silk garments, trade necklaces adorned with gold and gems? It is shameful to mention and painful even to think of the number of peasants who, living on the lands of people who live in the luxury we have described, have died of hunger or been supported by the alms of the church.” (Sermons, 13.)

O God,
Whose providence never fails in its design,
keep from us, we humbly beseech you,
all that might harm us
and grant all that works for our good.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen