“The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’” — Luke 10:35
Lenten Alms Change Lives
Our almsgiving has the power to transform the world. During Lent, CRS Rice Bowl invites you to reflect on some of the lives that are changed through Lenten almsgiving. Read stories of hope from Guatemala, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone and Gaza—and be sure to reflect with your family using our Lenten family resources.
What are alms?
We all want to be “Good Samaritans.” When we see our sister or brother suffering, we are moved by compassion. We want to help. We are inspired to give.
Almsgiving is central to how we practice Lent. Almsgiving flows from prayer and fasting. We reflect on the needs of the world and how God is calling us to meet those needs through prayer. We make room for the needs of others—and for God’s Holy Spirit to work within us—through fasting. Through a recognition of the world’s needs and a personal commitment to act, we then give alms.
What are alms? Catholics look to the Catechism, which says that almsgiving is “a witness to fraternal charity” and “a work of justice pleasing to God.” (no. 2462)
A Parable for Almsgiving
When we reflect on the charity of the Good Samaritan, we sometimes miss the second part of the man’s almsgiving. He leaves the innkeeper with these words—and a few coins: “Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.” He gives freely and wholeheartedly in equal measure to the need of the one whom he serves. No reservations; no disclaimers.
This Lent, almsgiving is your way to become a “Good Samaritan.” As we journey from Ash Wednesday through Holy Week to Easter, we invite you to consider CRS an innkeeper in your Lenten almsgiving.