God’s Gift of Generosity


Luke 21: 1-4
Dn 1:1-6,8-20 / Dn 3

. . . this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.
(Luke 21: 4)

To those who practice charity,
God’s blessings flow abundantly;
With grateful hearts they strive to be
God’s gifts of generosity.

As Jesus looked up, He saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)

Reflection

The widow’s contribution demonstrates the lesson that our Lord is imparting: that it is not so much the amount of what we give that counts, but what we are willing to give up. It is always the spirit behind our giving that gives our gift its worth.

There are two reasons we can think of why the widow decided to part with her last two coins. The first is out of gratitude. In spite of her poverty, she wanted to express her gratitude to God for some blessing(s) that she might have received. The other reason is her strong faith. She firmly believed that by giving everything to God, He would surely reciprocate her sacrifice by giving back to her ten times or even more than what she had surrendered. She had complete faith in God’s providence and generosity.

Today’s Gospel of Luke teaches us several things about the grace of generosity. The first is, it doesn’t matter whether we are rich or poor, we must never neglect our obligation to support our church, as the widow did for her temple. The amount is not as important as the sincerity of our intention. The second lesson of this Gospel is, we must give with total trust in the Lord’s Providence, believing that the cornucopia of God’s bounty will surely be available to us. If we have genuine faith in God, then we should harbor no doubt that He will open the floodgates of heaven to fill all our needs. The third thing to remember is this – “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also get a generous harvest. God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (2 Cor.9:6,8). Who knows that by being generous to others, we become God’s answer to their prayers?

This was evident in the tremendous response of so many people in donating cash and relief goods to the victims of the recent super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that devastated large regions of the Visayas, especially the city of Tacloban in Leyte. In our Red Cross Davao chapter, so many of our volunteers had to work day and night to repack foodstuff and essential items donated by the citizenry, rich and poor alike. They had just finished loading three 20-foot container vans of relief goods to be sent to Cebu for distribution, when another three truckloads full of foodstuff, kitchenware and blankets arrived, donated by the Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The generosity of so many people was simply overwhelming.

Lord, may the words of St. Paul apply in all our dealings: “The One who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Cor. 9:10) Amen.

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