From today's Gospel, we often remember the first part,"Stop judging and you will not be judged."Perhaps this is the easiest part for us to remember because it doesn't cost us anything.
The second part is more difficult, because it actually costs us something.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.
Today's reading reminds us that Lent, is about more than prayer and fasting but also includes alms giving. If we go back to the original Ash Wednesday gospel, we will see that of the three practices associated with Lent alms giving is listed first in Matthew's Gospel.
How many of us received those operation rice bowl boxes at our parishes in Lent and perhaps don't even know where they are at this moment. Today's gospel is a reminder to find the box, and catch up. Almsgiving is supposed to be part of our life year-round as Christians. During Lent we are supposed to convert it into a daily practice. We are only 13 days into Lent, it's still not too late to start over, if this part of Lent has not been as successful as we would have liked.