a poor collection
"I should like you to know of the grace of God conferred on the churches of Macedonia." —2 Corinthians 8:1
Chapters 8 and 9 of Second Corinthians describe the offering taken in the poor churches of Macedonia for the relief of the famished Christians in Jerusalem. In these chapters, St. Paul instructs the church in the more prosperous city of Corinth what it means to give to God out of love. Compare the giving patterns in your church and your life to those of the poor Macedonians:
- "They begged" for the privilege of donating (2 Cor 8:4).
- They gave beyond their means (2 Cor 8:3), knowing that though they had little money, they were still rich, because Jesus, though rich, made Himself poor for them (2 Cor 8:9).
- They trusted in God's provision, knowing that they could not outgive God (2 Cor 9:8).
- They gave not out of obligation, but as a "gracious gift" out of heartfelt love to relieve others' sufferings (2 Cor 9:5).
- They gave cheerfully and bountifully, knowing that "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:6-7).
- Instead of focusing on their poverty, they focused on their many blessings. Their overflowing joy compelled them to share these blessings with others (2 Cor 8:2).
- They knew that even the smallest gift given out of sacrificial love would be multiplied greatly by God (2 Cor 9:10).
- They gave generously so God would get more glory and thanks (2 Cor 9:11-13).
Prayer: Jesus, You have given freely to me. May I give freely (Mt 10:8) and lavishly in return (Ps 112:9).
Promise: "In a word, you must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." —Mt 5:48
Praise: St. Romuald trusted in the providence of God by giving up all worldly pursuits and lived the austere life of a hermit, given over completely to God.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 2007
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