First Reading: Phil 2:1-4; Psalm: 131 R. v. 1; Gospel: Lk 14:12-14
THE BLESSINGS OF 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 who solely rely on him. The poor depends on no one but God to have their daily bread. And God can only use us to cater for their needs because help does not practically fall from heaven. So we must always remember that we are channels of God’s mercy and love. Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees on 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 making generous and sincere effort to alleviate such condition. 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. Rather, let us give because we have received from God
The reason God gave us the little we have was to test our generosity; to see if we can do much with the little we have received from him. When we refuse help to those we know are dearly in need of help; we can make them feel God is cruel towards them. But if on the other hand they received our kindness and love; they will not only appreciate us but will also thank God for his love and mercy towards them. Listen to this: “You will be enriched in every way for great generosity which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” (2Cor 9:11). People’s thanksgiving to God for the help they received from us is a blessing. As they thank God for our sake, our blessings are multiplied. So if we increase our kindness, 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.