In the last two weeks we’ve spoken about two of the three traditional pillars of the Lenten spiritual journey: prayer and fasting. This week let’s look at almsgiving. In other words, giving money to the poor or to charitable organizations. For some reason, many Christians object to this. They say, first, that you shouldn’t give money to a homeless person because they’ll just use it to buy a drink or drugs. But that’s unfair, as I see it. You have no idea what they’ll do with it. And if you’re that worried you can buy them food. People also object to giving money to charitable organizations, because they supposedly coddle the poor. But that’s even less objectionable, since you know that they’ll use it wisely. But even if you had those objections, it wouldn’t matter. Because Jesus asks us to be generous with the poor. It’s one of the foundations of his public ministry: caring for the poor himself and asking his disciples to do so. During Lent you are called to give even more generously, to stretch yourself. As Jesus said, as often as you give to these little ones, that is the poor among us, you’re giving to him.