By: St. John Chrysostom
All these qualities almsgiving has and is as a seal on those who possess it. Not even death, as it approaches, dries up this plant, but it ever remains, enlightening the mind, nourishing the sinews of the soul, rendering its strength more powerful. If we always possess this, we shall be able with confidence to behold the Bridegroom and to enter the bridal chamber…
And we shall not be thus tried if, having been deemed worthy of the mysteries, we build on that foundation gold and silver and precious stones. In this way we shall be able, on departing thither, to appear rich, since we do not leave behind possessions here, but transfer them to safe treasuries there by the hands of the poor, inasmuch as we lend them to Christ. We owe many debts there, not of money, but of sins. Let us, then, lend Him our wealth so that we may receive pardon for our sins. For it is He Himself who acts as judge.
Let us not overlook Him here, hungry, in order that He Himself may feed us there. Here let us clothe Him, that He may not send us forth naked from the safe refuge with Him. If we give Him to drink here, we shall not say with the rich man: ‘Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool our tongues’ (Luke 16:24). If here we receive Him into our homes, there He will prepare many mansions for us. If we go to Him when He is in prison, He Himself will free us also from our bonds. If, when He is a stranger, we take Him in, He will not look down upon us as strangers when we are in the Kingdom of heaven, but will give to us a share in the heavenly City. If we visit Him when He is sick, He Himself will quickly free us also from our infirmities (Matt. 25:31-46).
Excerpt taken from the book: Daily Readings from the Wiritings of St. John Chrysostom.