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Lenten reflection: Day 9
Gospel, Matthew 7:7-12
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth’” (Genesis 1:28). The inspired author of the Book of Genesis inscribes in our heart and mind, the generosity of the Omnipotent creator of all things visible and invisible. He presents the invaluable (by any known or unknown measure) generosity and nature of eternal bounteousness of God, by His willing to not only share with man (who is one among; but above all of creation) His making, but also to give dominion over it.
In other words, God gave Adam and Eve the right to be rightful (uncontested) owners, and He expected them to be caretakers of this creation just as He cared about both of them individually and as the first sacredly-bonded couple. So, this explains that when God intends to give or bless, His measure is immeasurable and the receiver not only is given a bounty that exceeds beyond deserving, but also is overwhelmed with unfathomable-personal love from God.
We therefore understand that God is the wealthiest (beyond earthly standards) benefactor. To be a benefactor is to express a special charism that elevates not just the cause one commits to support, but also enriches the benefactor as well as the receiver’s soul with the fulfillment of charity and gratitude. What the poor old widow in Jesus’ parable gave to God emptied her of the last penny. But this act of charity; which blossoms only if there is selfless love for God, may have shrunken or ended her means of daily survival, but filled her with grace and priceless contentment of the heart and soul, for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
In today’s Gospel, Christ resonates God’s willful and perpetual generosity for man, as was spectacularly displayed during the creation of heaven and earth. However, one important aspect is uniquely different from the giving and taking between God and Man (Adam & Eve), and that which is now experienced between God and people. Then (life in Eden) what was; was dominion and replenishment. What is now is the existence of ‘need’ and the expectation of fulfilling it. However, not every need is rightly justified, nor is every expectation of fulfillment warranted.
For the first Man (and Woman) everything was made available. The two did not even know what was required for their sustenance (physical & spiritual) and pleasure (“Be fruitful and multiply…”), yet every atom of their being was satisfied beyond comprehension. They even walked with this Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent One True God (ref: Genesis 3:8). But for men, after the fall, incredible fulfillment was and is needed, for body and soul. A fulfillment which the same God provides, but now through ways which justly causes man to “ask, seek and knock”.
God on the other hand, (who is the same Father of all those who pilgrim on earth, are being purified -purgatory and those who dwell in the New Jerusalem – heaven) who knows all our needs and desires, wills to give to us from the same eternally generous and compassionately loving heart of His, that He gave to Adam & Eve. He knows and fulfills better than human parents.
So, my friends, if we hope and depend on God’s charity, we are obligated to be charitable to our neighbor. God who is most holy, who so loved the world, that He did not hesitate to give as sacrifice His only begotten Son, to restore mankind place in His Kingdom, why doubt that He will hold back what He knows is best needed for us; a people – sinful and mortal, whose every in-take of breath depends on His immeasurable charity?