from giving to living
"Let me say this much: He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. Everyone must give according to what he has inwardly decided." —2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Giving sets the tone for living. If we give bountifully of our possessions, time, and energy (2 Cor 9:6), we will live an abundant life (Jn 10:10). If, however, we give sparingly (2 Cor 9:6), do the minimum, and not go beyond the letter of the law (2 Cor 3:6), we will feel we are getting little out of life, marriage, work, Mass, prayer, friendship, and other blessings. If we give sparingly, begrudgingly, and selfishly, the joys of our lives seem to be put in "a bag with holes in it" (Hg 1:6). The salt of our lives loses its flavor. We are then "good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot" (Mt 5:13).
Almsgiving leads to giving in many other ways. As we give more and more, our lives become giving to the point that almsgiving results in "all-giving." Like Jesus, we become like "the grain of wheat" which "falls to the earth and dies" to produce "much fruit" (Jn 12:24). Then we live in the everlasting giving of our lives to the Lord.
"Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life" (Jn 3:16). "You need to recall the words of the Lord Jesus Himself, Who said, 'There is more happiness in giving than receiving' " (Acts 20:35). Give all, and live always in the Lord.
Prayer: Father, may giving change my life.
Promise: "He Who supplies seed for the sower and bread for the eater will provide in abundance; He will multiply the seed you sow and increase your generous yield." —2 Cor 9:10
Praise: Before he was martyred, St. Lawrence said: "I rejoice greatly because I have been considered worthy to be a sacrificial victim for Christ."
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001