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A generous God

The story is told about a priest who, because of a terrible stomachache, asked a sacristan to take his place in leading the Stations of the Cross until he came back. The sacristan dutifully and generously carried on until the 14th station and beyond, so that the people will stay on, so much so that when the priest came back, he heard the sacristan announcing: “The 20th station: Nicodemus marries Veronica!”

In today’s gospel (Lk. 11, 1-13), we hear about the generosity of God to our requests: “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” Our Father, our loving Father, is a generous, loving and giving Father who goes out of his way for us.

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Our Father in heaven gives us our daily bread, forgives us our sins, leads us not to the test and delivers us from all evil. Amen! May we too become more and more generous as we journey on.

In my retreat with the Gumaca clergy last week, one of the things that struck me was the generosity of parents who gave their sons for the priesthood, who gave not only one or two, but even three of their sons for the Lord! We thank the parents of Fr. Zandro and Fr. Niño de Leon; Fr. JB and Fr. Voltaire Olaya; twin brothers Fr. Renato and Fr. Reynato Baldovino; Fr. Bong, Fr. Felix and Fr. Ven Zuleta.

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Fr. McLeo Ramos shared with us that when he served as a waiter in a restaurant in Quezon City as part of his formation, hardly did anybody say “thank you” after he served on them. Also, he often saw many families eating together, coming from church, and their helpers are not a part of their meal at all.

Are you a generous person? Generosity is giving beyond the minimum to people who don’t even deserve it. For some, especially those who are so attached to money, generosity is foolish, if not outright stupid. May we not be less human because we have become prisoners of money and worldly power.

What if God treated us according to what we deserved? Then none of us would survive, none of us would be lovable at all. May we learn to make God’s measure our measure.

The problem with the rich and the powerful is that they forget their dependence on God. False security sets in, and gratitude soon too is gone. Please remember that our achievements and possessions are nothing compared to what we have received from God in this life.

Use your money for your salvation, not for your condemnation. When you come before God’s throne, may you be able to tell him that the money you earned is clean, and that a lot of it was shared to the poor and the wanting.

Many parents are teaching their children to be wise about money. Fine. But are they teaching them to be generous? Please make sure that you raise children who know not only how to make and save money, but also how to share their talents and money. Beyond making a living and making a name, teach them that making a difference in this life is what matters in the end.

Today is Fil-Mission Sunday. We as a country and as a people have received our faith and are now, out of gratitude and generosity, sending Filipino missionaries all over the world. We remember today the sacrifices of our Filipino missionaries “out there,” our gift to the world. Let’s continue to pray for them and support them generously.

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How generous are you? Please ask yourself this question today. It is not a useless, nor an unimportant, irrelevant question. Your answer to this question can make you or break you when you take your final exams… “Whatever you did to the least of your brothers and sisters, you did it unto me.”

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, teach us to be generous, and not keep counting the cost. Amen.

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