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

YOUR FOOTPRINTS

Thursday 5th November – Thursday of week 31 of the year

Reflection: Romans 14: 7-12

YOUR FOOTPRINTS

Take a moment to look at yourself in a mirror. A quick observation of your clothes will bring to your awareness the truth that man was created for community. Your clothes were designed by people you do not know and bought at a store with a different owner altogether. In the same way, your food is farmed by a group of people, processed by another group, stored and sold by another group. Hence, you cannot on your own, provide all your day-to-day needs. We all are interdependent on one another and St Paul reminds us of this truth in today’s first reading.

Indeed, our lives and death have profound influence on others. Your words, actions, attitudes and inactions have an effect on the lives of those around you and all that you do leaves a footprint in the sand of their lives. What kind of footprints are you leaving behind you? What effect does your daily encounter with people have on them? The Pharisees and scribes in today’s gospel reading looked down upon “sinners” and considered it inappropriate to have any dealings with them. Little did they know that God loves everyone and seeks the repentance of the sinner. They failed to understand that God wanted them to be instruments in his hands to reach out to sinners in love.

Beloved, does your relationship with others leave them with an experience of God’s love and mercy? That is exactly what we are called to do. Rather than being impatient with others and passing judgement on them, let us extend our hands to them, leaving in their hearts footprints of love, affection, gentility and patience. As we do this, we allow ourselves to participate actively in Christ’s work of redemption as we truly live not just for ourselves, but for our brethren.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the love and mercy you have shown me. Please help me to share this love and mercy with those I meet every day. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 321 – Can a Christian be a radical individualist?

No, a Christian can never be a radical individualist, because man is by nature designed for fellowship.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die, it is for the Lord that we die. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” Romans 14:8 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 14: 7-12; Psalm 27: 1,4, 13-14; Luke 15: 1-10

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