Sunday, November 12, 2006

The secret is in giving

32nd Sunday in ordinary time
Cycle B

It may sound really simplistic, but the key to life is not in receiving but in giving.

It's hard to accept this because we are more accustomed to receive rather than give. When we were children we knew couldn't live unless we receive food, clothing, shelter, and education from our parents. Though adulthood is a transition from receiving to giving, still we find it hard to change our paradigm. We work to earn; and we earn to sustain our families.

Today's readings invites us to practice radical giving. In the book of Kings, Elijah asks for the last piece of food from the widow and her son, and they ended up having food because they offered their last piece to God's work. God never ceases to bless those who are like him. He sacrificed His very own Son, Jesus Christ to be our daily bread in the Eucharist. The widow's mite in the new testament is a concrete picture of how God loves - till the very end.

Without God's generosity, we cannot imagine how we can still live today. The only thing that is keeping us alive right now are not the wonders of science and technology, neither riches or fame, nor our homes and our work, but God's generosity.

We too are called endlessly to a radical form of self-giving. Maybe in the past we have chosen a particular thing or person and sacrificed all others and even ourselves; maybe we have chosen to sacrifice our valuable time, talent and treasure in cause-oriented projects. If we have felt extreme joy in giving especially to those who cannot repay us back, then we know we have the gift of generosity.

Now imagine what would happen all of us live to give, and in giving, live?

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