A CLENCHED HAND OR AN OPEN HAND

February 15, 2021 – Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Fr. Gibo Dandoy, CSsR

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/021521.cfm)

When it comes to giving and offering to God, do you take a clenched hand or an open hand?

We all have different attitude or take on the call of generosity. Some are loose and generous; others are tight and stingy. Some give from their surplus; others from the meager they have. Some give gladly, while others grudgingly.

Allow me to reflect on our first reading from the Book of Genesis, particularly because it has provided us two (2) models of giving to ponder on ourselves:

The first model is that of Abel. Abel is a shepherd, and he brings the best firstlings of his livestock and some fat as well and offer them to Lord;

The other model is that of Cain. Cain is a farmer, who brings the fruits of the soil as an offering to Lord.

Now let us pay close attention to the Lord’s response to their individual offerings? “Now Yahweh was well pleased – ‘looked with favor’ – on Abel and his offering, but towards Cain and his offering he showed no pleasure.”

What’s wrong? What’s the difference?

Yes, both have offered to the Lord. However the Lord was so pleased or delighted with Abel and his sacrificial offering because Abel did the right thing by giving or offering what the Lord so deserved. He gave the best and choiced portions of his produced. Not the surplus nor the least.

But with Cain, the Lord was displeased because Cain was very reluctant in offering what was due to the Lord.

Today, God has given us one of the secrets of living a blessed and full life, that is by way of giving God generously: from the best and the choiced portion of our produce. For He is able to multiply our blessings beyond human estimation.

And so, when it’s time to give, “Let not your hand be open to receive and clenched when it is time to give. (Sir. 4:31.)”

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