First Reading: Rom 11:29-36; Psalm: 69 R. v. 14c; Gospel: Lk 14:12-14
CARING FOR THE POOR
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The appeal of Jesus to the Pharisees on the need to invite the poor when they call a banquet reveals the concern of God for the poor that solely rely on him. The poor depends on no one but God for their daily bread. And God can only use us to cater for their needs because we are the instruments of God’s love and mercy. Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees for snubbing the poor was a way of reprimanding them to show mercy rather than preach mercy.
Mercy means to be moved to the inner organs by the unfortunate conditions of others and to make generous and sincere effort to alleviate them. In this merciful gesture of love, we should expect nothing in return because love as a virtue seeks nothing for itself. We shall however be rewarded accordingly by God upon whose grace we acted to express his unconditional love and mercy. We shouldn’t give because we want to receive. We should give because we have received from God
God gave us the little we have to test our generosity. To see if we could do much with the little we have received from him. When we refuse help to those who are dearly in need of help; we could make them feel that God is cruel to them. But when they receive kindness and love from us; they will not only appreciate us but will also thank God for his love and mercies towards them. “You will be enriched in every way for great generosity which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” (2Cor 9:11). Our generosity to people brings thanksgiving and honour to God. When the needy pray in thanksgiving to God for our generosity; our blessings are multiplied. So, if we increased our charity, we increase our blessings. The ball is now on our court.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, increase our desire to love and care for those in need. Amen.