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Tuesday, June 15, 1999

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2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Psalm 146
Matthew 5:43-48

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givings or mis-givings?

"In the midst of severe trial their overflowing joy and deep poverty have produced an abundant generosity." —2 Corinthians 8:2

God gives. The Father and the Son constantly and eternally give Themselves to each Other, and Their Gift is the Holy Spirit. God constantly gives us His life with all its love and power. This is called grace. God gave His very self when He gave His Son to die on the cross for us. Jesus, God Himself, even continues to give His body and blood in Holy Communion. The Father through the Son gives us the Holy Spirit, Who gives us special graces called charisms. God gives constantly, eternally, and perfectly to all, even and especially to His enemies (see Mt 5:44-45).

We are called to give as God gives. By God's grace, we must first give ourselves "to God and then to" all (2 Cor 8:5). "Everyone must give according to what he has inwardly decided; not sadly, not grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:7). In imitation of God, we are graced to be big givers by giving our whole lives to God in accepting and living fully our vocations to the lay single life, the priesthood, religious life, or married life. We are called to give up so much in sacrifice so that we can have much more time, energy, and money to give in generosity.

Give in a Trinitarian, crucified, eucharistic, enthusiastic, and divine way.

Prayer:  Father, I will give without counting the cost.

Promise:  "You have heard the commandment, 'You shall love your countryman but hate your enemy.' My command to you is: love your enemies, pray for your persecutors." —Mt 5:43-44

Praise:  In obedience to the Lord, Jerry and Louise both left their high-paying jobs and moved to a rural area to join a small Christian community.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, Seek the Gifts of the Spirit.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998