“Appear not before the Lord empty-handed.” Ben Sira advised the people of his time for proper sacrifices to the Jewish God. Jesus, in his time, is more specific. Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive 100 times more in the present age … and eternal life in the age to come.”
What sacrifice am I to offer the Lord that will be acceptable? I have sacrificed my time, talent, and money in various ministries and charities. But is that enough?
Saint Peter Julian Eymard asked himself the same question, at his famous Retreat of Rome, on January 27, 1865 – “What must I do? I must give myself to Jesus Christ and serve him by the gift, the Holocaust of self. Our Lord has me to understand that he prefers the gift of my heart to all the exterior gifts I might offer him, even if I were to give him the hearts of all without giving him my own.” A Eucharistic Spirituality by Father Paul Bernier SSS, and Jim Brown MA, explains that the key to the spirituality of Saint Peter Julian was his gift of self. This requires we also give God our talents and skills – these are special and unique for each of us. Whatever God has given us is merely a seed we should cultivate through education, experience, and practice. God wishes to use us, and our wages will be not only in heaven but in this world as well. And whatever good we give to others, God will take it and purify it. This prevents our self-love from taking pride in our actions since everything we do will be done in and for God and inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the most high. He that glory offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me; And to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God. (From Psalm 50)