You may have heard it said, “You can’t out-give God.” In other words, whenever you give something up for the Lord, you get more in return. But it is possible to fail to recognize the depth of his riches when they’re offered.
This brings us to Lent, which is a time to appreciate the depth of God’s goodness over-and-above the fleeting things of the world.
From our reading in Sirach today, we heard,
Give to the Most High as he has given, and as generously as your hand has found. For the Lord is the one who repays, and he will repay you sevenfold.
Lent can seem like a chore unless we believe this truth deep down in our souls.
In a spirit of returning and renewal, there’s usually enthusiasm to give something up at the beginning of Lent. But soon enough, those feelings wear off, and Lent just seems hard. This is where we can grow the most by pressing into God in order to have access to those greater riches that are found only in him.
You can receive these riches by singing. It’s been a while since I’ve memorized a hymn, so I look forward to learning Newman’s “Firmly I believe and truly,” which is attached below. The themes therein can give far greater joy to the heart than any fleeting pleasure of the world.
In today’s Gospel, Peter pointed out to Jesus that they’d left everything to follow him. Jesus answered that they will receive “a hundredfold now in this time … with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” We partake of that eternal life now by way of a foretaste when we praise God in song (see Rom 8:22-23).
Augustine’s prayer reminds us, ““Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” The offerings of the world cannot compare to the riches of a relationship with God.