July 1, 2018 — Thirteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time
“Your abundance at the present time should supply their needs, so that their abundance may also supply your needs.” This is the fourth time in 2 Corinthians, chapter 8 that St. Paul addresses the issue of giving. What Paul is trying to explain is that the motivation for giving should be similar to God’s motivation for gifting us. In the passage which constitutes today’s Second Reading Paul says, “As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also.”
In the original, Paul uses the old Greek word charis to describe the giving to which he is making reference. We can probably see that the roots of that word are very much the same as the roots of the word “charity.” Giving and sharing are definitely the work of God’s grace in us. In fact, our motivation should be very much the same as that of the Lord. He gives to us because of Who He is, not because of what or who we are.
We, too, must give if we wish to show holiness, or to at least aspire to it. That is also what we mean when we say that we are all called to stewardship, to be good stewards. It is one thing to be faithful, but it is another to give. At times we may think there are too many collections, but it is the results of these opportunities to give which support the Church’s work both locally and around the globe.