Scripture Reading: John 3:16
How does love hurt? Fr. Damian Ilodigwe, once said this that when we give alms, it must hurt us otherwise it is not charity. Our act of giving charity should necessarily take something from us. The Pharisees in the gospel of Matthews, dropped from the abundance of what they had into the temple treasury, but the poor widow, from the little she had. And Jesus says only the poor widow had donated more than all the others in the Temple. Pause a moment, imagine the scenario where a parent whose only son is to be executed for whatever reason. What do you think? Pleasant or unpleasant? Now God gave his Son, not for His own good, not for anything other than for the sake the crime we committed so that we are made free. What kind of love could be more than that? Sometime ago, a group of St. Vincent de Paul came requesting for items to assist the prisoners, and a man entered his apartment only to come out next with rag cloths, abandoned pairs of shoe and a host of other things and said, I think this will be good for the prisoners, and the group made some selection. As I sat down watching the episode, my heart ached. This is a man who had more than enough clothing in his wardrobe such that he may not exhaust, even if he had to go out with different clothing every day. Why is it so difficult to give out what is dear to us? – car, money, shoes, trousers, and so on. The man in the above scene cannot claim to be charitable. In our world of recession and hardship, let us ask for the grace to be ever more sensitive to the needs of others around us, realising that the act of expressing love does not consist in the giving from our abundance rather from even the little we have. St. Mother Theresa said, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt only more love.
MASS: WHITE Col 3:1-11; Ps 145:2-3.10-11.12-13ab(R.9a); Accl Lk 6:23ab; Lk 6:20-26 ST. JOHNCHRYSOSTOM, B.D. (MEMORIAL)
- I thank You Father for teaching me the secret of true love.
- Help me to appreciate that all good gifts are sent from heaven above and that nothing I have that was not giving to me for the sake of my fellow brothers and sisters (neighbours).
- Give me the grace to be ever sensitive to the needs of those around me.
- Help me to realise that each time I do good to others, I do them to you.
- Assist me to be more conscious of the dangers of selfishness.
Exercise: Make sure you express an act of kindness and love to somebody today.
Meditation: Matthew 25:45