A GENEROUS HEART

Monday 13th March – Monday of the 2nd week of lent

Reflection: Luke 6:36-38

A GENEROUS HEART

“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be measure you get back” Luke 6:38

It is often said that givers never lack and the hand that gives is always on top. A generous heart is not only reflected in extending hands of generosity to the needy, poor or less-privileged; but also in the readiness to pray for others. When we see our brethren living below the expectation of their call as Christians, we should not criticize or point accusing fingers at them. Such moments give us the opportunity to be generous with our kind words and prayers. We should be ready to encourage those who are discouraged or spiritually weak, especially by praying for them and for the conversion of sinners.

Our generosity attracts God’s blessing when it is done, not out of compulsion, but with a willing and loving heart (2 Cor 9:6-8). He who gives sparingly will receive sparingly and he who gives bountifully will receive bountifully. It is the measure we give that we will receive. For God loves a cheerful giver. As we choose to pray for others rather than criticizing them, God will raise people to pray for us too. Let your preoccupation this season of Lent be to pray, fast and to give alms; and may God accept your offering of love.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I thank you for giving me your very self through your death on the cross and in the Eucharist. Please grant me a generous heart so I can be like you. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 449 – What significance do the poor have for Christians?

Love for the poor must be in every age the distinguishing mark of Christians. The poor deserve not just a few alms; they have a claim to justice. For Christians there is a special obligation to share their goods. Our example in love for the poor is Christ.

Hide a Treasure: “You should each give, then as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty, for God loves the one who gives gladly” 2 Corinthians 9:7 GNB

Today’s Readings: Daniel 9:4-10; Psalm 79: 8-13; Luke 6:36-38

TRUE GENEROSITY

Sunday 8th November 2015- 32nd Sunday of the year

Reflection: Mark 12: 38-44

TRUE GENEROSITY

If we will enjoy the best from God, we must necessarily go beyond our selfish inclinations. Our natural inclination tells us to acquire, keep and consume, thinking that the more we have, the better secure we are and the happier we will be. However, experience has shown that true joy and satisfaction of heart does not consist in material acquisition or abundance of riches. Though many of us readily give reasons for our reluctance and sometimes failure to give, the stories of the poor widows in today’s first and gospel readings hold great lessons for us.

From the gospel reading, we see that true generosity is a function of the disposition of one’s heart and does not really depend on how much one has. More often than not, we give out of convenience with little or no sacrifice accompanying it. This obviously is not the way of Christ as seen in today’s second reading (Hebrews 9:24-28); Christ fully sacrificed himself that you and I may be redeemed. Beloved in Christ, what readily prevents you from being generous? Are they your present needs or concerns for future provisions? The account of Prophet Elijah and the widow at Sidon clearly shows us that our faithful Lord truly justifies the faith of His obedient children. True generosity demands faith that is grounded in sincere love of God and fellow men. It rids us of greed and leads us to a renewed experience of God’s supernatural provisions.

Dearest in Christ, none of us should consider himself or herself too poor to give. We all have something to share. Let us be generous with our talents and time; let us be generous in forgiveness and understanding. By this, we will know the joy of meaningful living as we follow in the footsteps of our selfless Saviour.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, fill me with a loving and generous heart. Please help me to walk in the way of self-renunciation. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 449- What significance do the poor have for Christians?

Love for the poor must be in every age the distinguishing mark of Christians. The poor deserve not just a few alms; they have a claim to justice. For Christians there is a special obligation to share their goods. Our example in love for the poor is Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Give and it will be given to you; good measure, press down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” Luke 6:38 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: 1 Kings 17: 10-16; Psalm 146: 6-10; Hebrews 9: 24-28; Mark 12: 38-44

THE REWARD OF A GOOD LIFE


Saturday 6th June – Saturday of week 9 in Ordinary Time

Reflection: Tobit 12: 1, 5-15, 20

THE REWARD OF A GOOD LIFE

“As water extinguishes the burning flames, almsgiving obtains pardon for sins. The man who responds by doing good prepares for the future, at the moment of his downfall he will find support” Sirach 3:30-31

Tobit was not only addressed by his kinsmen as a ‘good and worthy man, an honest man who is just and compassionate’ (Tobit 7:6, 9:6), but also by God who took notice of all his works of mercy in burying the dead and alms giving. For this reason, God sent the Angel Raphael in human form to deliver him in his time of need.  This shows that the reward of the just is truly with the Lord and that at the moment of their downfall, the Lord will support them. Ultimately, the Lord will reward the righteous with the beatific vision at the end of his sojourn on earth.

Dear friends, the exemplary life of Tobit is a model for us to follow. Give alms from what you have and do not give grudgingly but rather cheerfully. Do not turn your face from anyone who is poor so that God may not turn away His face from you. Give alms in proportion to the amount you have; if you have little, do not be afraid to give alms according to the little you have. The poor widow in our gospel today gave from all she had to live on and the Lord acknowledged her. In giving alms, we store up treasure against the day of tribulation, because almsgiving frees us from death and it is a form of atonement for our sins (Tobit 12:9). It is a precious treasure in the sight of God. Give to the poor and your neighbors in need; give to God His due (tithe) and give to His ministers and to your family members.

Beloved in Christ, a good name is better than gold or silver. Let us strive to live for the glory of God that we may be successful in all that we do.

Prayer: Lord, help me to daily strive to live a blessed life and make me understand that it is only in giving that I can receive.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2443 – God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them: “Give to Him who begs from you, do not refuse him who would borrow from you;” “you received without pay, give without pay.” It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen ones.

Hide a Treasure: “Always remember the Lord our God. Do not consent to sin or go against His commandments. Act justly all the days of your life, and do not walk in the paths of wrongdoing, for, if you act uprightly, you will be successful in all you do.” Tobit 4:5-6 CCB

Today’s Readings: Tobit 12:1,5-15,20; Tobit 13:2, 6-8 (canticle);  Mark 12:38-44

A GENEROUS HEART

Monday 2nd March – Monday of the 2nd week of lent

Reflection: Luke 6:36-38

A GENEROUS HEART

“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be measure you get back” Luke 6:38

It is often said that givers never lack and the hand that gives is always on top. A generous heart is not only reflected in extending hands of generosity to the needy, poor or less-privileged; but also in the readiness to pray for others. When we see our brethren living below the expectation of their call as Christians, we should not criticize or point accusing fingers at them. Such moments give us the opportunity to be generous with our kind words and prayers. We should be ready to encourage those who are discouraged or spiritually weak, especially by praying for them and for the conversion of sinners.

Our generosity attracts God’s blessing when it is done, not out of compulsion, but with a willing and loving heart (2 Cor 9:6-8). He who gives sparingly will receive sparingly and he who gives bountifully will receive bountifully. It is the measure we give that we will receive. For God loves a cheerful giver. As we choose to pray for others rather than criticizing them, God will raise people to pray for us too. Let your preoccupation this season of Lent be to pray, fast and to give alms; and may God accept your offering of love.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I thank you for giving me your very self through your death on the cross and in the Eucharist. Please grant me a generous heart so I can be like you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 449 What significance do the poor have for Christians?

Love for the poor must be in every age the distinguishing mark of Christians. The poor deserve not just a few alms; they have a claim to justice. For Christians there is a special obligation to share their goods. Our example in love for the poor is Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “You should each give, then as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty, for God loves the one who gives gladly” 2 Corinthians 9:7 GNB

Today’s Readings: Daniel 9:4-10; Psalm 79: 8-13; Luke 6:36-38

THINKING OF OTHERS

Thursday 26th February – Thursday of the 1st Week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 7:7-12

THINKING OF OTHERS

Jesus words: “Always treat others as you would like them to treat you” referred to as the Golden rule is also called the ethic of reciprocity. These words have been accepted by people of all times, ethnicity and creed as a rule that guards against greed and selfishness. As Christians, the call to consider others first is central to our faith. Just as our Lord poured out His life for us, we too are called to love sacrificially and unconditionally.

How can we claim to be Christians if we are selfish, proud and greedy? How can we claim to be followers of Christ if we refuse to share in His virtues of compassion, seeking the good of others and love for enemies? More than anything else, the Church calls you and me to be renewed this season of Lent. The purpose of our penance is to raise our thoughts outside of ourselves and our comfort so as to think of the needs of others first and to extend our hands to them in charity.

Today, make it a point of duty to seek the needs of others first in every decision you make. Our natural selves are selfish; ask the Lord for the grace to rise above selfishness and to treat others as you would love to be treated. Strive to be perfect reflection of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I come to you as I am, please take away every selfishness in me and help me to consider others first and treat them well. Grant me the grace to be a perfect reflection of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 173 – Why do we need sacraments in the first place?
We need Sacraments in order to outgrow our petty human life and to become like Jesus through Jesus: children of God in freedom and glory.

HIDE A TREASURE: “So treat others the way you would like them to treat you.” Matthew 7: 12

Today’s readings: Esther 4:17; Psalms 138:1-3, 7-8; Matthew 7:7-12

IS GOD TOO GENEROUS?

Sunday 21st September – 25th Sunday of the year

Reflection: Matthew 20: 1-16

IS GOD TOO GENEROUS?

Whether or not we recognise it, God is indeed generous to us all. The gift of life and our needs that are met daily are nothing but an indication of His great love and generosity towards us. Each time we are privileged to look upon an image of the crucifix, we are reminded of how generous God is with His mercy – so much as to come down in human form and undergo the humiliation, punishment and death in our place.

As we grow in our faith, we must be careful so as not to become envious of God’s generosity as He extends His hands of love to others, people whom we have condemned because of the sinful lifestyles and habits they may have engaged in. God’s compassion is great. We must bear in mind that we are who we are only by His grace and we must rejoice when we see others respond to this same mercy and grace we have ourselves responded to.

Jesus asked the early hirelings in today’s reading, “Why are you envious because I am generous?” None of us deserves God’s mercy; none of us has a right to it. His generosity to us is only a privilege. Let us ask God for mercy for the times we have passed judgement on others and grumbled at the seemingly great blessings He has given others.

As we do this, we open ourselves to be beneficiaries of God’s great generosity.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for your great generosity towards me. Please help me to extend your mercy and generosity to others.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 280 – What reasons do Christians give for human dignity?

Every person, from the first moment of his life in the womb, has an inviolable dignity, because from all eternity God willed, loved, created, and redeemed that person and destined him for eternal happiness.

   HIDE A TREASURE: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:18 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Isaiah 55: 6-9; Psalm 145: 2-3, 8-9, 17-18; Philippians 1: 20-24, 27; Matthew 20: 1-16