God will never be outdone in generosity. He always pays you back and with much more.
Way back in college, one of my best friends introduced me to devotions that I still carry on today. He introduced me to the devotion to the Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the Señor Santo Niño de Cebú. He isn’t only generous in sharing on matters of faith, he is also in giving time and material things. He comes from a rich Chinese family and was one of those classmates blessed with a car while still in school, which he more than willingly and graciously shared with us then. Whenever our going home time coincided, he would always offer to drive me, no matter how out of the way it was. So much so that there were several times that I pretended to stay in the library even if it’s already time to go, just so that he not be inconvenienced. That’s how this friend is so generous with everything he has, even while we were struggling students with futures still uncertain. Up to now, he remains a loyal and great friend to me and to our other brothers in the community.
In the Gospel (Mk. 12: 38-44), Jesus made a commentary to His disciples on the generosity of the poor widow, who gave everything that she had, compared to the rich people who gave what were their excesses:
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
The path to discipleship will also entail a lot of challenges, trials and difficulties. Sometimes we even question “why” we experience certain events that require sacrifices and discomfort. Yet we know Jesus has told us that if we love Him, we have to carry our cross and follow Him. Following the Lord requires a tremendous amount of trust because the journey takes us into a lot of uncertainties and unexpected places. This requires us to yield our comfort zones. The fact is, we cannot say with certainty that we love God with everything that we are unless we trust Him — fully.
Actually, when we trust Him fully, there’s no more limit to our loving and caring because this is what God is: absolutely loving and genuinely caring.
The difficulty may be that Jesus doesn’t set limits to how we love others. It is inclusive: it means loving including those who are difficult to love. If this is difficult to do, there is no other perfect example than the Lord Himself, who handled these remarkably in His time. He did this out of genuine love and obedience for the Heavenly Father. The Scriptures is rich with stories of love that Jesus showed to others, including those who persecuted Him.
If it is so heavy to do, just be consoled that your dependence on God will help you, comfort you, and fix your brokenness. Just like the widow of Zarephath in the First Reading (1 Kgs. 17: 10-16), you can be assured that whatever kindness you share to others out of love, God will make sure that your “jar of flour will not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry”.
I’m grateful to the Lord for blessing me with great friends who are fellow pilgrims who share themselves unselfishly in this life journey. While I don’t think I deserve God’s awesome goodness, He just won’t allow Himself to be outdone. I credit it also to the goodness of my parents and their respective families for God’s blessings and graces to flow through to me. Surely God isn’t outdone even up to now and still counting!
Let us pray that the Lord grant us the grace to be His heart in loving and caring for others.
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ (cf. Mt. 5:3)