READINGS for 2007-08-10
GIVE UNTIL IT HURTS?
“God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
I learned it years ago and believed it to be Bible truth.
“Give until it hurts. When it does, then you know you are truly giving.”
Well, it does have so much truth in it!
But through the years I found a better rule in giving:
“Give until it gives you joy. When it does then you know you are truly giving.”
Because when you give but feel a lump in your throat or a cramp in your stomach or a stab at the back then that’s when you’re not truly giving. Because that’s giving halfheartedly.
And you’re not happy at all for the person you are giving to. In fact, you might even despise him or might just want to get rid of her.
Receiving or feeling something in return for giving is not bad at all. Especially when what you receive or feel is pure joy!
God wants you to be happy when you give.
In fact, He loves a cheerful giver!
So, cheers! Alvin B.
Try to give something today experiencing real joy in it and being truly happy for the person you gave to.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace... For it is in giving that we receive!
2 Corinthians 9:6-10
God will never be outdone in generosity. However, this does not necessarily mean that if we give $100 on a collection plate at Mass that we will get more than that back in the near future. What this principle really challenges us to believe is that whatever God gives us in life is the best and all that we need to be saved. After all, it is the gift of salvation that is the most important and precious gift of all! All of the money in the world cannot buy even one person’s salvation.
6 Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
P S A L M
Psalm 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
R: Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
1 Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands. 2 His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall be blessed. (R) 5 Well for the man who is gracious and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice; 6 he shall never be moved; the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance. (R) 7 An evil report he shall not fear; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. 8 His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear till he looks down upon his foes. (R) 9 Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory. (R)
G O S P E L
The breaking open of a seed as it germinates is a wonderful image for the working of God’s grace in our lives. Sometimes the vessel has to be shattered so that the new creation can emerge and take life. As we celebrate the martyrdom of St Lawrence we remember a man who allowed his life to be given in imitation of Jesus for the sake of the Gospel. This witness to the truth of the Gospel would not be possible without Lawrence allowing his earthly life to become forfeit and so speak with so much more clarity and power of the hope he has in the life to come.
24 “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.”
think: Sometimes the vessel has to be shattered so that the new creation can emerge and take life.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Jeremiah 19-22
LAYING DOWN OUR LIVES FOR THE TRUTH
St. Lawrence, a deacon of the Early Church died for his beliefs by being roasted over a fire! I do not think any of us would see this as an enjoyable experience so we have to ask ourselves the question, “Why didn’t Lawrence renounce his faith and so avoid such a terrible death?”
When I read the lives of the saints it is quite easy to see that in each of their lives something has happened that they cannot deny even if such a position is the cause of great suffering. In other words, they have come to know the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ not just as a friend but as a Savior and there is nothing that is going to separate them from this relationship with Him! Their conversion to Jesus, their faith, is so strong that they experience an inability to let go of it, even in the face of death by fire.
Each time I think of sainthood or martyrdom in these terms I am inspired to pray for such a grace for myself. However, it seems that I do not have it as I very soon find myself back in the mundane struggle with sin that seems to characterize each of our lives. I am sure Jesus knows this, but I am at a loss to know why He does not do anything definitive about it. Then I remember He has done something about it and the problem rests with me and not with Him. Each time we are tempted with sin it is time for each of us to stand up and be counted for what we believe. This is not and never will be an easy thing to do. All we can do is to begin doing it and hope and pray that we will be humble enough to accept the grace of God which will enable us to be faithful to our convictions. Jesus knows the degree to which we struggle and is a merciful judge of our situation. However, we must be willing to die to ourselves if we are going to achieve victory over sin and temptation. Let us try to develop a devotion to the martyrs, any martyr in order that we might be inspired to more fully lay down our lives for the Gospel in imitation of them. Fr. Steve T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: What is the biggest struggle in my life? Where do I need the most grace or help from God to achieve victory over sin?
Lord Jesus, send forth the power of Your grace more fully in my life so that what I know to be true in my head will become the reality I live in my life, namely that Your death and resurrection has killed the power of sin in my life.
St. Deusdedit, pray for us.
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