Koinonia (koinonia) wrote,

A shopping list for almsgiving

Glory to Jesus Christ!

There's less than a month to go to the Great Fast: that season of the year
where we're supposed to pray Saint Ephraim the Syrian's words -- "Grant me
to see my own errors and not to judge my brother" (rather than make websites
and launch Internet campaigns about his) -- and recalibrate our lives to the
three Gospel basics of prayer, fasting and almsgiving that constitute the
true activism of the Orthodox Christian lifestyle.

With regard to the last of that threesome -- almsgiving -- here is a useful
"grocery list" for a balanced diet from a local charity that collects food
for the poor, which they claim can feed a family of four for two days:

2 cans of meat or fish
2 cans of vegetables
2 cans of fruit
2 cans of soup
2 boxes of macaroni and cheese or rice
1 pound of dry beans or 1 can of baked beans
1 box of hot cereal
1 package of powdered milk
1 can of evaporated milk
1 box of dried soup mix
1 jar of peanut butter

A bag or box containing these items costs about $20 to $25, depending on
where and how judiciously one does one's grocery shopping. Any local
nonprofit food bank or pantry undoubtedly would be delighted to receive such
a donation.

Perhaps this grocery list will prove helpful during the Lenten season to
someone interested in nourishing the Lord Jesus Christ in the guise of the
poor and needy, which is on what, as we will hear in church in just a few
weeks, our salvation apparently really hinges (Matthew 25:31-46, the reading
for Judgment Sunday [Meatfare Sunday], February 26 this year).

Through the intercessions of Saints Juliana of Lazarevo, Philaret the
Merciful and Peter the Tax Collector -- those holy laypeople whose activism
in almsgiving and good works saved and sanctified them, while helping fellow
human beings and proving the practicality and potency of the Gospel -- may
God clear our vision and set our priorities straight as the Great Fast
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