October 31, 2022 – Monday of the 31st Week in the Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/103122.cfm)
Not all generous people are truly grateful. Yet, grateful people are always generous. What does it mean? One’s generosity can be colored by our selfish intentions or motivated by our self-interest. Like for example, we can be generous to people in our workplace especially to the higher ups because we want them to like us, a way, of perhaps, securing a good position or promotion. Politicians can be publicly generous of their resources, time and presence particularly when election is coming up, well, because that is self-promotion. We can pamper a person we like so much, giving gifts and treats because we want the person to like us in return.
These forms of generosity or kindness are acts of selfishness that only seek to advance self-interest. In fact, Paul in his letter to the Philippians, exhorts the community and warns them of this tendency. He said, “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory… regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interest.”
This kind of spirit is very essential in a Christian community that exists in a worldly and self-centered society. Paul also realized that selfishness is not the way of Christians because this tendency leads to corruption of life and of faith. It is only by being a person for others, being a community for others that believers of Christ will truly grow in the faith and in their relationship with one another.
Moreover, Jesus in today’s Gospel taught a leading Pharisee on how he should express his kindness and generosity. This Pharisee must be influential and rich in that community and Jesus saw how the guests were filled with the same influential and wealthy people. Thus, Jesus challenged him to express his kindness and generosity to people who need most. This was Jesus’ call to the Pharisee to move out of selfishness and to be truly generous and not for the sake of advancing self-interest.
Hence, the Lord also invites us today to grow in our gratitude to God and to others. Only in this attitude of the heart that we shall also be able to go beyond from the tendency to look only for ourselves and own benefit. Gratitude in our heart will make us kind and generous to people who around us who need most our help and presence. This is our true expression of faith. Kabay pa.