almsgiving and all-giving
"I solemnly assure you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit." —John 12:24
There is "giving," of which Jesus Himself said: "There is more happiness in giving than receiving" (Acts 20:35). Then there is giving bountifully (2 Cor 9:6) and cheerfully, "for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:7). Next, there is "giving till it hurts," that is, sacrificially. Finally, there is "giving all," everything we have to live on (see Lk 21:4).
This last kind of giving is the giving:
- done by Jesus on the cross and by the martyrs,
- called for by the first commandment, that is, loving God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength (Lk 10:27),
- by which we receive God's kingdom (Mt 13:44-46),
- in which we by faith possess everlasting life (see Mt 19:16, 21),
- which is multipliable (see e.g. Mt 14:17ff), and
- which is dying to self and bears much fruit (Jn 12:24).
For love of Jesus crucified, give all.
Prayer: Father, may I not diminish the meaning of my life by giving less than "all."
Promise: "God can multiply His favors among you so that you may always have enough of everything." —2 Cor 9:8
Praise: St. Lawrence, a deacon who served the pope, survived the martyrdoms of the pope's other deacons, but received his own opportunity to witness their Savior four days later.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002