Tuesday, May 26, 2015

“Being good to people is the only insurance policy you need.”

“When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them—some food, a place in our homes, our time—not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always ‘add more water to the beans’! Is it possible to add more water to the beans?…Always?…And you do so with love, demonstrating that true riches consist not in materials things, but in the heart! (Pope Francis: Address during Visit to the Slums of Rio de Janeiro 7/25/13)

Scripture text: (SIR 35:1-12)
To keep the law is a great oblation,
and he who observes the
commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
In works of charity one offers fine flour,
and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the LORD,
and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
Appear not before the LORD empty-handed,
for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
The just one’s offering enriches the altar
and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.
The just one’s sacrifice is most pleasing,
nor will it ever be forgotten.
In a generous spirit pay homage to the LORD,
be not sparing of freewill gifts.
With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,
and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
generously, according to your means.

For the LORD is one who always repays,
and he will give back to you sevenfold.
But offer no bribes, these he does not accept!
Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion.
For he is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites.

Sirach in today’s reading tells us how to keep the law by doing works of justice, works of charity, and the giving of alms. These works truly please God; these are the true sacrifices that enrich the altar more than gifts laid upon it. As much as any incense, they send up a sweet odor to the Most High. Sirach ends his litany with the exhortation: “Give to the Most High as He has given to you, generously, according to your means.”

One particular verse caught my eye and caused me to pause and to think. “. . . as He has given to you.” Can I ever enumerate all the ways that God has given to me? If I start with today and begin to work backwards, day by day, will I ever get to the end? As I start to move through my memories, I get lost in pauses and reveries of wonder.

We must continue to strive in becoming better Christians, better examples of God's love alive in this world. In doing so more people will see what it means to live a life destined for heaven.

No comments:

Post a Comment