August 10, 2019 – Saturday 18th Week in Ordinary Time
From the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (9:6-10)
Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:
He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.
The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
Responsorial Psalm PS 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
R.(5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
From the Gospel of John (12:24-26)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”
The attitudes of gratefulness and cheerfulness in giving are what our readings would like us to reflect today. This calls us to recognize the many gifts that we have received from the Lord and in return, through our gratefulness we are moved to share to others cheerfully what we have received. Our Psalm proclaims to us, “Blessed the person who is gracious and lends those in need.” This calls us now not to become anxious of tomorrow but to be confident of the blessings of today.
Certainly, God loves a cheerful giver, as St Paul affirms, because it is an expression of our deep understanding of God’s gifts and of our deeper intimacy shared with God. We become Christ-like who in today’s Gospel is the seed that falls to the ground and dies and bears much fruit.
This is an invitation also for us today. A person who joyfully shares his/her recourses and gifts and even his/her life for others, is a seed who takes the risk of giving oneself for others so that others may have life. This is an expression that our faith and relationship with one another becomes life-giving by becoming grateful and generous.
Indeed, it is when we realize how blessed we are, that we too grow in our gratitude to the Lord. It is essential for us to accept and appreciate the things that have been given to us. They may include not just the material things that we possessed but also our relationships, the many people who are there to love and support us, the gift of our person, our talents and abilities, our vision and dreams. Thus, when our heart is contented of what we have at this very moment, we will remain assured and secured in our life.
However, when our heart grows unsatisfied, no matter how much we have, we will surely seek for more. This will happen to us when we keep saying that we don’t have enough.
Jesus invites us today to recognize the blessings that we have. Counting those things that we don’t have will only make us bitter and complaining. It will only make us seek for more making us greedy; who would always seek for more attention, recognition, praises, and entitlements from others. If we allow ourselves to turn into greedy and bitter persons, then we will make ourselves as the unhappiest person.
Thus, instead of being anxious on what we can profit, let this day and the days that will come as the right time to be grateful to God. Recognize and count every blessing that you have received. Hopefully, through this, it will mold us to become grateful persons and generous in our actions and words. And may our generosity express the cheerfulness in giving despite the little things that may remain in us or despite the nothingness once we give up something for others and for God. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR