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Friday, August 10, 2012

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St. Lawrence

2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Psalm 112:1-2, 5-9
John 12:24-26

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loving to give

"God loves a cheerful giver." —2 Corinthians 9:7

When the Lord calls us to give, He doesn't mean for us to give something, but to give everything. We are to give as He gives, "good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over" (Lk 6:38). The Father gave His Son (Jn 3:16); the Son gave His life; the Spirit gave His gifts.

We certainly can never outgive God, but we can do the best we can by giving our all. We can give all we have "to live on" (Lk 21:4). We can give our lives and our deaths to the Lord. The Lord not only calls us to give everything, but also to do it cheerfully (2 Cor 9:7). We find this a difficult combination, because most of us don't want to give everything. Even if we do give our all, we may not feel too happy about it.

The only way to be a cheerful giver of everything is to be in love with Jesus. Then we will consider it a privilege to give our all to Him. We will find "more happiness in giving than receiving" (Acts 20:35). Because of our love for Jesus, we will "come to rate all as loss" (Phil 3:8), and gladly give everything to Him so He may be our Wealth and we may be in Him (Phil 3:8-9).

Giving all cheerfully depends on receiving love bountifully. The Lord loves a cheerful giver, and a giver is cheerful because the Lord loved the giver before he or she ever gave. We sow bountifully (2 Cor 9:6) because we have reaped the Lord's love bountifully.

Prayer:  Father, may I receive Your love in a greater way and thereby give as never before.

Promise:  "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." —Jn 12:24

Praise:  St. Lawrence was buried by several Roman senators who were converted by his witness of unwavering faith while being burned to death for his faith in Jesus.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our pamphlet, Fund-Raising, Faith-Raising, and Festivals, and our book, The Bible on Money.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012

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