Grace to you!
One of the ways to discern the value of human action arises from the question, why. Why do I do what I do?
When Saint Brigid gave out all she had to live on, including her last inheritance of a golden sword, the king of Sweden couldn't understand her action until he found out why she did what she did? Actions could easily be misdirected if the why of the action isn't well thought out.
One of the lessons of the Sermon of the Mount is the Lord evaluating the religious and moral codes of Moses on the basis of why, as well as teaching us why we practice any of the religious works. You may read Matthew 6 for some instances. If one understood why, it helps the person to act with a better disposition and, probably, right intention. Also, it helps one put in one’s best in making those sacrifices.
For instance, why do we give alms? True Christian almsgiving isn't an extension of the narcissism or the ego campaign. It isn’t so others will sing our praises. It isn’t a show of philanthropy. We don’t want the reward of our sacrifices to be the praises of people.
Our almsgiving as believers is first and foremost to give glory to God who has blessed us so as to bless others. It is to unite in making the world a better place. In humble practice of almsgiving, we receive divine endorsement.
The Lord tells: “When you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Mt 6:3-4).
Hence, if all our good works, fasting, prayers and almsgiving are for the glory of God and the salvation of others, putting smile on the faces of others, the good of God's people, etc., the reward is unequalled. A pure disposition as these, changes the dynamics of our giving, inspiring us to put forward our best. Perhaps, it helps us to sow bountifully through the generosity of our time, talent and treasure. Such the Lord delights in. Such is in line with a heavenly-inspired decision and action.
Praying that God would give us the grace of purity of heart and intention as we make sacrifices for others. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Week 11: 2 Cor 9:6-11; Mt 6:1-6, 16-18]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.