We often hear people saying “be generous” and “please give generously”. But what does being generous means? Most of us think that being generous is all about money but it’s not. We can also be generous in time and talent’ it leaves us no excuse that we can’t be generous because we also lack money. Also, generosity is not just about giving. It is giving beyond. Generosity is also believing that there will be more to come around that god will give us so we can give it away to others. But above all, it is about giving without a guilt feeling inside our hearts and the sincerity to help others for it is what pleases God.
We can give a lot of money to the poor but with the wrong reasons it would still not to honor God. When we give, we don’t have to tell everyone about our generosity for God to acknowledge it because He sees everything. “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Mt. 6:1-6).
On the contrary, being selfish is believing that there will be not enough for our own needs so we save for ourselves first and refuse to share it with others. Being selfish is lack of trust in God that he might not give us more when the time we most need it comes.
In our Gospel today, we heard the parable of the rich man Lazarus. Lazarus was a poor and who eats the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. The rich man has more than enough of what He needs while Lazarus lacks everything. But when they both died, Lazarus was comforted at Abraham’s bosom while the rich man was being tormented. The rich man lives a life comfortably and receives good things here on earth while Lazarus did not.
God did not mean to live our life here on earth uncomfortably. He did not tell us not to enjoy good things on earth to have eternal life in heaven. He just wants us to invest more on heavenly possession than to focus in temporary happiness that life can offer here. He wants us to enjoy everything He created but at the same time He wants us to learn to share the blessings we have received from Him with a cheerful heart for God loves a cheerful giver. Give to others with a pure intention of honoring God. God wants us to trust Him that as we give there will be more to come. And we always have to remember to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”(Mt 6:33)
The best example of generosity is God himself, when He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins. We all have sinned and done wrong but God wants to fix our relationship with Him which turns out to be His best gift for us. And for that we learn how to give because He gives us gift first.
Let us always be grateful for the things we have received from our God and learn to share it with others.
Remember to love others as Jesus loved us, let us live generously but not to boast how awesome we are but to boast how generous our God is. Let us do good without being discouraged. In due time we shall all reap the reward of our constancy. So while there is time, let us do good to all especially to our family in faith (Gal 6:9-10). Amen.
A reflection by Jovs from the September 29th 2019 issue of the Neo jeremiah Voice of the Young Prophet Newsletter of the St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish & Diocesan Shrine.