Jesus said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest, for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood." Luke 21:3-4
Such a difficult passage to read. Does God want us to give ALL our money? How about saving for our retirement, taking care of our children's education, maintaining our house, our cars, food, clothing, Christmas gifts, travel...the list goes on and on. And then I think, as long as I offer it all to the Lord. I am just His steward, then I can "keep" everything. I just need to give the 10% tithes and a little more for alms, then I'll be OK. Is that all right Lord? How can I help others if I am in want myself?
I really, really want Your answer Lord!
"My dear, life is about giving. An offering of yourself to Me and to others. Just as I did for you, so must you do to others. Give not only of your wealth, but your time, your talents, your resources, all you have. Share it. And I will multiply whatever you offer to Me. Such is My Kingdom. Unless the seed falls to the ground and dies, it cannot be used. It cannot multiply, grow, bloom. Trust. That is the key. It is what is needed. Entrust your future to me. Entrust your life to me. Test me."
"Lord, when did we see you and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?" Matthew 25:37
"Who gives himself with alms feeds three- himself, his hungry neighbor and Me." (Lowell)
St. Martin of Tours was an 18 year old legionary when he met a beggar clad in rags at the city gate of Amiens. He decided to cut his great woolen cloak into two, and gave the half to the beggar. That night he dreamt that it was Christ wearing half of his cloak. St. Francis is famous for exchanging his rich clothes with beggars. And also kissing lepers who he used to find revolting. Once when he did kiss a leper's hands and face, he looked around after mounting his horse, and could not find the leper anywhere!
There are many 'kingdoms' here on earth. Politicians try to be kings. Some actors live their lives as if they are untouchable. Some people act as if they will live forever with no mind for tomorrow. But in the Kingdom where God is Master, we will be judged not according to what we have accumulated, how much power or popularity or influence we have, but how much we loved.
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me." Matthew 25:35
Perhaps the best gift we can give the birthday celebrant this Christmas is to find him in jail, in the hospital, orphanage, old age homes, in the hovels under the bridges of the city. Let us not forget the birthday celebrant while we are giving gifts, and having parties and getting together for the season!
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