“GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER” (2 Cor 9:7)
????2 Cor 9:6-11; Ps 112:1b-2, 3-4, 9 (R.v.1b); Matt 6:1-6, 16-18
Do you remember the story of that boy that donated his lunch pack to Jesus (John 6:9) and equipped Jesus with the things to perform the miracle of feeding so many people? That is also the effect our charity has. The joy is that, just as the boy was also a beneficiary of that feeding, we too would gain from any cheerful charity we undertake.
Being cheerful is a state of being joyful without any infringement. It is a state of having a free mindset in your actions.
Those things are implied in the above statement of St Paul. And to understand what he meant perfectly, we need to look at the complete verse: “Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
You can see then that a cheerful giver is one who gives from his heart, and not one who is compelled by any force to give. One could be compelled by the force of gaining recognition or reward before men, which is what Jesus condemned in the Gospel (cf. Matt 6:1-6, 16-18).
The act of giving is an obligation that each of us has as Christians (see 2 Cor 8). Yet, giving with the right intention is an attitude that should not be lacking in our giving.
What is usually your intention when you give? Is it for sake of being recognized and praised? That would mean laying up treasures for yourself on earth (cf. Matt 6:19-23).
St. Aloysius Gonzaga was an epitome of a cheerful giver. He gave his life wholeheartedly to the service of God in his people. When an epidemic broke up in Rome in 1591, he offered himself to the service of the sick until he became ill himself and died.
How much have you given to God and for the sake of God?
May God grant us the grace of giving in charity and with right intention so that we may get the right reward from God in heaven in the end. Amen.
Have a cheerful day ahead. Peace be with you.