Nov 7 2020 Reflection
Saturday 7 November 2020
First Reading: PHIL 4:10-19
Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
PS 112:1B-2, 5-6, 8A AND 9
Gospel Reading: LK 16:9-15
Today’s Note: Saturday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.”
The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
“You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”
I am eager for the profit that accrues to your account. (Philippians 4:17)
The novel The Ultimate Gift tells the story of a spoiled young man, Jason Stevens. His wealthy late grandfather’s will stipulates that he must give one gift each day for a month before he can receive his inheritance. So he does things like donating blood, watching a neighbor’s children, and delivering meals to people with disabilities. Through these acts of charity, he learns that “when you give out of love, both the giver and the receiver have more than they started with.”
It seems that the Philippians understood this lesson too—at least based on Paul’s words to them. He rejoiced in the financial help he had received from them, not because he couldn’t do without it, but because he saw that their generosity was benefiting them as well (Philippians 4:10-11). By accepting their gift, he was helping them to grow spiritually. That’s why he was eager to see them profit from it (4:17).
God wants us to experience the blessings of giving as well—and there are so many! For example, giving requires that we have an outward focus so that we can see the needs of the people around us. This helps us to be less concerned about ourselves. As we give, we also become less attached to our money and possessions. We become more peaceful as well, as we lose our fear of not having enough. We may experience joy as we witness the gratitude and joy that our gifts bring to other people. And as we learn to trust less in material wealth, we grow in trusting God.
You don’t have to do something radical to apply this principle in your life, but you do have to make giving a regular practice. Try to be consistent with your donations and your service to people so that they can count on you. You might also try giving in a way that stretches you a little. Offer to help out your elderly neighbor instead of just asking them how they are doing. Or try giving more than your usual donation to your parish. Whatever you decide, you can trust that the fruits of your generosity will flow not only to the person receiving your gift but to you, the giver, as well!
“Lord, teach me to be a cheerful and unselfish giver.”