“GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER”
????2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a; Ps 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19 (R.v.2a); Rom 6:3-4, 8-11; Matt 10:37-42
My dear, last Sunday, we were presented with the vertical effect of the presence of Jesus among us – protection and redemption. That is, with Christ among us, our song shall be the song of victory.
Today, while the vertical effect is extended to also include provision from God, we are introduced into what should be the horizontal effect of that presence, which is what we are required to do with the gifts that God has given to us. We are called to use whatever God has given to us to build homes for him in the life of others. When that is done with right motive, we shall be rewarded by more gifts, the summit of which is eternal life.
The Gospel began with an indication of the need to shun every distraction in our bid to follow Christ. We must give ourselves and what we have wholeheartedly without looking for approval from man. Whatever we give is for God and it is him who repays. Remember that he says that whatever we do to the least of his brothers, we do for him. That is why he said today that whoever receives his disciples receives him, and by extension, receives God. This is why God will repay whatever we give to others for his sake.
In the First Reading, the wealthy woman that helped the prophet Elisha said to her husband, “Behold now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God, who is continually passing our way. Let us make a small roof chamber with walls, and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there” (2 Kings 4:9-10). Can you see the reason she gave for the desired work of charity? She perceived that Elisha was a man of God.
So, in essence, she was doing it for God and not for man. Of course, the rest of the story was that of a miracle that ended her childlessness. My Bishop would often remind us that we can never outdo God in generosity. That story in the First Reading is a testimonial of that saying. There are so many others like it – the story of Abraham in Gen 18, that of Dorcas in Acts 9:36-41, etc.
Can you see that those little gifts you give to priests or in support of the Church’s projects are not in vain? As you give, God will continue to multiply your own gifts because God loves a cheerful giver. To refuse to give leads to physical and spiritual death (cf. Acts 5:1-10).
Then the Second Reading tells us of the most important gift we can give to God – righteousness! By our baptism, we die to sin and resurrect to life in Christ. If we remain in Christ, we shall be rewarded with eternal life.
We therefore earnestly pray that God may increase our faith in him and create in us the spirit of charity so that we may gain more blessings in this life and eternal life in the next. Amen.
Peace be with you!