In yesterday’s reflection, it was mentioned that performing acts of love is not our Catholic strength. Some of us may disagree. Isn’t the Catholic Church the largest charitable organization in the world? That is certainly true! However, on a personal level, we really need to put in extra effort. What is emphasized here is the culture of “giving”.
The world teaches us that it is important to save up, be prepared for the future or rainy days. Both the Eastern and Western cultures have such teachings. The culture of accumulating things and unwillingness to give has thus emerged and taken root in our thoughts and behaviour.
However, the teaching of Jesus is just the opposite. He advocates that “blessed are the poor in spirit”. (cf Matthew 5:3) He praises the noble character of the poor widow who gave all that she had. (cf Mark 12:41-44)
Being willing to give up our precious time for others, which is equivalent to giving up a part of our lives, is a great sacrifice these days. However, to sustain this spirit of self-sacrifice in our lives, we need to constantly learn to let go of small things, beginning with the details in our daily lives, especially regarding our material possessions.
If we are not willing to accept and learn to live out the spirit of “blessed are the poor,” and continue to accumulate worldly possessions for ourselves, our hearts will never belong to God. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The concept of “blessed are the poor in spirit” can be considered as the core teaching of Jesus. To achieve spiritual poverty, we cannot lack the spirit of giving.
Therefore, the spirit and action of giving are one of the most important expressions of faith for Christians.
Our attitude towards sharing our wealth also reveals the overall maturity of our spirit of giving – in other words, am I someone who is willing to give and sacrifice myself for others? Am I poor in spirit? Am I someone who truly belongs to God?
Therefore, although donating money is not the highest level of giving and sacrifice, it is an extremely important starting point that plays a critical role in determining whether we can achieve spiritual poverty.
Because in the end, we cannot serve two masters: if we decide to choose Christ, we have to give up everything that is secondary, especially money and wealth.
Lord Jesus, I choose You and I am willing to focus on serving the people You have called me to serve. Please reveal to me in my prayers, the brothers and sisters whom You want me to serve today, and their needs.
Lord Jesus Christ, I am willing to follow Your teaching of spiritual poverty, but You know that I am weak, I can fall and give up easily. Please strengthen my will once again, so that I am willing to learn to continually let go and learn the true spirit of giving. Lord, I am willing to offer the part which is the most difficult for me to offer to the brothers and sisters whom You have revealed to me today. Please accept my offering.