Sunday, November 11, 2012

Give God What Is Right


The Lord should have been impressed by the large sums of money given by rich people to the Temple treasury. After all, we ourselves are immediately (and gladly) impressed by huge donations. But such is not the case with the Lord. Sitting by the treasury of the temple, our Lord praised the poor widow over the rich donors on account of the fact that the rich, in spite of the huge donations, gave only from their surplus wealth while the widow, from her poverty, contributed all she had – her whole livelihood.

An important point to consider would be the first and the greatest commandment which was taught to us by the Lord in last Sunday’s gospel: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord your God is Lord alone. Therefore, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength!” God first of all, God above all – this is the gist of the greatest commandment. Everything I am and everything I have comes from Him and belongs to Him. Therefore, I must love the Lord with everything that I am and everything that I have. This high ideal inspired our famous offertory song: “Lahat ng hawak ko, lahat ng loob ko, lahat ay aking alay sa Iyo. Mula sa iyo ang lahat ng ito, muli kong handog sa iyo…” Very ideal, is it not? But do we really mean what we say? The truth comes out in the value of our offering. Do we give in proportion to what we have received from the Lord…or do we give only from our surplus? Can I really say that my offering is indeed “lahat ng hawak ko”? Do we imitate the poor widow who, even in her poverty, contributed all she had? Or do we follow the steps of the rich who gave only from their surplus wealth?

The quality of our offering manifests how we look at God. If it is true that we say that God is everything to us, then we should put our money where our mouth is! No, I am not telling you to give more at offertory. I am simply asking you to give God what he rightfully deserves! Give God what rightfully belongs to Him. We do not give to the Lord in order to receive blessings later on. We give to the Lord because we have already received from Him. Our offering is our act of gratitude to the Lord because he has always been kind to us. Therefore, our offering should be proportionate to the blessings that we have received from Him. To give God from our surplus, to give God what we no longer need, is to treat Him as a beggar because in effect, we give Him our loose change. Let us not treat God like a beggar for the simple reason that He is not one – the Lord our God is Lord alone. He is Lord! He is Sovereign! Let us treat God as Lord and Sovereign. Let us offer to Him the best of what we can give, whether it be our time, or our talent, or our wealth and resources. Let us give God what is right and not what is left.

Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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