09 June 2007

BLANK CHEQUE

Saturday in the 9th Week of the Ordinary Time
Mk 12:38-44

This is a lesson I learned from Bishop Socrates B. Villegas, Bishop of the Diocese of Balanga, Bataan.

If I have one million pesos and donate half of it to a charitable institution, am I generous? No, am not. You may call me kind, accommodating, merciful, or concerned, but not yet generous. You see, it is very easy for me to dole out half a million pesos because I still have half a million in the bank. Through time and wise management, my half a million can grow not only twice but also thrice and even more. I am pretty much secured and so I can dish out that much.

We have in the Gospel today a poor widow, an anawim. She had nothing to rely on but God. God was her only security. The two small coins were all that she had next to God. But even those, she gave away as alms to the Temple. Having donated the little she had, she became greater than the rich who put in a sizable amount into the treasury. When she had given her equivalent to a penny, all she had left was God. When the rich had dropped their “half a million” into the collection box, they still had their “other half a million” in their banks.

Generosity is not giving half of what we have. Generosity is not giving some of what we possess. Generosity is not tithing. Generosity is giving all we have. It is putting into disposal for what is most loving all that we possess. It is surrendering everything – not a mere fraction of what we have and are, not just ten percent – to God for His use. Confident that God provides for those who resign everything to Him, generosity is writing God a blank cheque.

Would we dare?

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