2021-06-2713th SundayRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min.

It is St. Paul`s letter to the Corinthians, our second reading, that provided me with a meditation and a challenge to become a better Christian.

The letter is about generosity. Paul is encouraging the Corinthians who have been blessed in many ways to be more generous. There is a famine in Jerusalem and the inhabitants of that region need help. Paul is asking the Corinthians who are non-Jews or Gentiles to help out. He uses the Macedonians as an example of generosity. They have already provided financial help to the people of Jerusalem even though they do not have much in terms of wealth themselves. Paul wants the Corinthians to do the same. The Corinthians have more and Paul wants them to share some of the blessings that they have. He says to them, "Your abundance at the present time should supply their needs". He wants there to be more equality.

Why do I use this passage as an opportunity for reflection and meditation? I use it because many of the problems that they had in the Early Church are the same ones that we have today and many of the challenges that they faced in terms of hunger and poverty are similar to problems that we have in our contemporary world.

God asks us to be generous to our brothers and sisters. That is a constant theme of the Bible. Be good and loving and generous to those who are less fortunate. See them as members of your own family. When God views our world, He does not see national boundaries. What God does see is one big family, all members of one human race, one people made in His own image and likeness. If we are charitable and loving and we reach out to those who are less fortunate, we will be rewarded many times over not only in this life but in the life to come.

Being generous is an attitude. What we have in terms of material resources is only borrowed. Being good stewards of God`s creation means that we use God`s blessings to us in a generous way. As they say: you cannot take it with you. What you have from God is only borrowed while you live on this earth.

One of the false assumptions that many of us make is that if you work hard you should not have any financial difficulties. The fact is that many people work very hard and have very little to show for it. Most of our ancestors left their country of origin because they were looking for a better life. They worked hard but they did not have enough to live on. That remains the case in many parts of the world. God has blessed us and our land with many resources and God expects us to share, "To those who have been given much, much is expected.""

The Scripture for today provides all of us with the opportunity to examine our own consciences in terms of the way that we give back a portion of what we have to God`s children. What does it take to be a good steward? Good questions to ask myself are: How well am I doing in terms of sharing my time, my talent and my treasure?

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