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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

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St. Lawrence

2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Psalm 112
John 12:24-26

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the transforming power of givings and giving all

"He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully." —2 Corinthians 9:6

"In the measure you give you shall receive, and more besides" (Mk 4:24). The Lord promises that we will never outgive Him. If we give bountifully, we will harvest more than we sow and receive more than we give. Then we are to give generously again and receive even more, spiritually and materially. After a few rounds of giving and then receiving more, we have significantly greater spiritual and material resources than before our rounds of giving and receiving. This may not always be obvious because spiritual resources are not visible and quantifiable as are material resources. Nonetheless, after repeated givings in the spirit of the gospel, we definitely have much more to give (see Lk 8:18; 19:26).

The Lord calls us to give not only bountifully but totally to Him. He commands us to love Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength (Lk 10:27). This command to give all to Him may seem unreasonable until we focus on Jesus' death on the cross. At the foot of the cross, we see the command to give all to Jesus as a privilege of love, not as a burden. So, like a grain of wheat, we fall to the earth and die (see Jn 12:24). We give all to the Lord. Then we find that not only are our resources transformed, we are transformed. We are no longer our old selves of selfishness; we are new creations in the love of Jesus. Therefore, accept the grace to give all to Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, may I get into Your spirit of giving.

Promise:  "The man who loves his life loses it, while the man who hates his life in this world preserves it to life eternal." —Jn 12:25

Praise:  St. Lawrence was known for his generous almsgiving and eventually gave the ultimate alms by being martyred for Christ.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004