For God loves a cheerful giver…

Wednesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A; 21st June 2017.

Brethren: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

There’s always this interior battle on where to draw the line in regards to generosity. “Who should I be generous to?” “How generous am I even to be to this person?” “Does this person I’m even offering help to really deserve such generosity?” In a world where it’s difficult to differentiate between the poor and those who fake being poor, these questions may rise up in our minds. But today St. Paul reminds us of a clear fact: even in the face of our unworthy attitude and sins, Our Lord God still provides for you and blesses us without questioning; amidst our fallen nature, He was generous enough to give us His Son who died for our sins; Our Saviour Jesus Christ was generous enough towards giving us His Precious Body and Blood which nourishes our souls and washes us away from every guilt. And these, was given out of Love.

We are never compelled to give, neither are we encouraged to count our giving as a great thing to be debated over as the present world makes it. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ gave his Life up for us freely, as true followers of his, we are called to give to those around us, without expectations and without self glorification. 

What is that which we have that is truly ours? Our life? God owns it together with the air we breathe to sustain it. Our house, food, clothing, social position? We are only privileged to have these, not by our merits but by God’s grace. And all these have been given to us so that we can be fruitful with them and glorify God our Father through giving. By giving alms to the needy, we imitate Him who has always been generous towards us. 

Today, God supplies us, the sowers with seed which we can use to multiply our resources and increase the harvest of our righteousness. Let’s be enriched by being generous in a great way, for through this we will reap thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 6:10-11). Like the psalmist said, “Blessed the man who fears the Lord. Open-handed, he gives to the poor, his justice stands firm for ever. His might shall be exalted in glory” (Psalm 112:9). May our love for God be reflected in our generosity and self giving to those around us for our God loves a cheerful giver. 

For the Measure You Give… 

Monday in the Second Week of Lent; 13th March 2017.

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

Luke 6: 36-38

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. We keep being given graces upon graces to rewrite our wrongdoings all because of God’s infinite mercy. For Daniel once confessed that we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from God’s commandments and ordinances but yet our great and awesome God keeps giving us his merciful love (Daniel 9:4b-5). How much of a difference would it make if we loved sincerely and showed mercy to those who need it. 

Judge not, and you will not be judged. Not to be judgemental; this seems to be a hard thing to do. In our countries where corruption and inhumanity strives and every voice wants to be heard, in our Christian communities where people sin different from us and self righteousness is on the high rise, we may fall prey to being judges. But Christ tells us that the way we judge others in our own frame of mind might end up being the way our judgement comes to us

Condemn not and you will not be condemned. Condemnation. “His/her sins weigh more than mine”, “If he/she keeps going this way, he’ll end up in the unquenchable fire”- remarks we might make in our minds forgetting that God’s will is that every man be saved (Timothy 2:4) and it is our duty to reach out for those who we may think are beyond saving. So why not convert instead of condemn.

Forgive and you will be forgiven. Christ through the Church keeps stressing how important forgiving is this Lent. Just as we pray today with the psalmist that our Lord God does not treat us according to our sins (Psalm 103:10a), how much more are we to forgive others for their past actions to us.  

Give and it will be given to you. Just incase we forgot the need to be charitable this Lenten season, well, Ding! We got a reminder now. Give help, give advice, give support, give a shoulder to cry on, give alms, give forgiveness too!  

Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to be compassionate today just as His Father is compassionate. May we in the spirit of Lent learn to be more merciful and forgiving, less judgmental and condemning and more charitable to one another

Hello Lent

Lenten Season Year A; 1st March 2017

Lent remains one of the best liturgical season we Catholics can ever witness. It is a time of return to God, of soul searching: a time to acknowledge our sinfulness and create habits of the mind and heart that are centered on Jesus Christ. It’s pretty amazing that this year’s Lenten season begins with the new month. Lent could feel like this: we walk through the green fields of hope the Ordinary Time gives, and gradually it opens its path and leads us to the violet ocean which purifies our hearts and souls, an ocean of extraordinary grace opened up for those who return to the Lord with repentant hearts and contrite spirit.

So what really is expected of us this season of Lent? 

Prayer: Pray for loved ones. Pray for enemies. Pray for world peace. Pray for your country and its leaders. Pray for the sick, for the poor, for those in purgatory. Pray for forgiveness. Do something different in your prayer life. If you don’t pray the rosary often, you can decide this Lent to pray at least 5 decades a day. Or if you haven’t been keeping up to your morning prayers and the first thing you do when you open your eyes is reach for your phone (which a lot of us tend do), you could decide to begin every morning with a “Serviam”(I will serve) and any other short ejaculatory prayer of thanksgiving to God. Go to confession if you’ve been keeping it on a long finger for quite sometime. Recieve Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Visit the Blessed Sacrament regularly. Just take your prayer life one step up to the next level. 

Fasting: A lot of us think, “Fasting: the ‘6/9 hours stay away from food’ thingy.” Then we start off all strong, till its an hour before we break the fast and time seems soo slow and we hear the enyzmes in our stomachs scream at every minute that ticks past. But then again, what good is a fasting if our minds are so bent and focus on how long before we break it? Fasting ought to be some form of self-denial. You eat 5 times a day? Try making it 2. You online for the 16 hours you stay awake? Why not cut it down to 6. Fasting could be the sacrifices we make for the daily pleasures we give ourselves. And what to we do when we don’t eat at the appropriate hours we have denied ourselves of? We could offer it up for those who barely have a full squared meal to eat. And the hours not spent online? We could offer it up in prayer for those who stay addicted to the social media and what it feeds. We could grow in our holiness while we fast by reading spiritual books or knowing God more by reading the Bible. So what is that you feel addicted to? It’s high time you fast from it/them.

Giving: Give alms. Give hope. Give genuine love. Give good advice. Give a listening ear, a leaning shoulder, a helping hand. Give all. Give yourself. In the spirit of self denial, we ought to give to those who need. Empty yourself of that you cling to so you can be fill back up at the end of Lent with joy and blessings those things wouldn’t have given you. 

Christ shows us the way we can live this out this season of Lent: In Humility; In Sincerity, In Secret (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18). So Fast, Pray and Give. May the Lord purify our motives so that our Lenten observance will lead us to repentance and self-renewal so that we may fully experience the joy Easter brings.