We might also notice that it assumes there will be poor people and travelers or foreigners present. Jesus said, of course, that the poor would always be with us (John 12:8, Matthew 26:11). And on another occasion, when he and the disciples were traveling, they stopped to pick grain in a field (Matthew 12:1). In other words, they helped themselves.
Most of us today are not farmers and the idea of people helping themselves to what we have earned (however we are paid) is foreign to us. Don't we always try to get paid as much as we can (whether we are individuals or corporations)? Of course, we do. We mitigate this by giving to charity, donating our time to non-profits, and various other activities.
But how often do we resent what we tithe? How often do we denigrate the beggar on the corner? How often do we harbor a grudge toward the foreigner among us who is trying to get a leg up?
For Reflection: Does what I earn belong totally to me or should I share it? How much should I share? How should I share it? What is my attitude toward foreigners around me?
Let us pray. Jesus, if I knew that it would be you picking from my fields I don't think I would hesitate to leave some good pickings. But most of the time I don't know exactly where my giving goes. Most of the time I am disdainful of the poor and distrustful of aliens. Help me to not hoard what you have given me and to see you in everyone. Help me to be gracious and give freely.