From The Pastors Desk
God rewards all generous people (givers). According to one spiritual author, John Rose, “Human generosity will always be rewarded with the divine superabundance.” That notwithstanding, God loves more a selfless giver than someone who is charitable with the intent to receive a reward from God. In today’s first reading from the Second Book of Kings, the influential woman helping Elisha was not looking to receive anything from Elisha; she was only helping a man of God (cf. 2 Kings 4:8-16). Interestingly, every act of generosity is just like sowing a seed. When someone plants a seed, it grows and yields abundant fruits. It may take time, but if one has the patience, one will undoubtedly reap abundant blessings. An act of generosity will never go unrewarded.
Again, giving is equivalent to sacrifice because, in generosity, one relinquishes what is essential for the good of another; no one has ever performed a sacrifice without getting its reward. Speaking of sacrifice, carrying our crosses in life is an act of sacrifice. Jesus said, “Whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10: 38). There is always this transaction of give and take in generosity. St Francis of Assisi summed it up in the following words: ‘It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in giving that we do receive, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” To this extent, true discipleship has its costs and gains.
Finally, giving facilitates the answering of our prayers. Even when we have not prayed but are charitable, God finds a way of rewarding us with something we need. Today’s first reading gives us the mindset of the prophet of God, and today’s gospel provides us with the mindset of God. While the woman was charitable to Elisha, she was expecting nothing. However, Elisha was receiving favor from the woman and was looking for something to do for her. The Lord blesses us in the same way whenever we have done something for Him. Besides, we do something for God when we do something for our fellow human beings. After all, Christ was emphatic when he said, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it for me” (Matthew 25:40). Jesus also said in today’s gospel, “Whoever receives you, receives me. And whoever receives me receives the one who sent me”(Matthew 10: 38). May God continue to bless us as we strive to be charitable and generous toward one another. Have a generous week!
2023 Annual Catholic Appeal
I take this opportunity to thank all of you who have contributed to this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. As you know, the appeal supports the pastoral workings of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Each parish is assigned a financial goal for the year. Our goal at St. Martin de Porres is $63,586. To date we have pledged $39,041. I thank all of you for your support and generosity. The key to having a successful appeal is participation.
Welcome Msgr. Tony and Father Bonsu
This week we will welcome back Msgr. Tony and Father Bonsu from Ghana. Msgr. Tony will spend the month of July with us and Father Bonsu will spend July, August and September with us. Please be sure to welcome back our summer priests.
Wishing you a joyful and blessed week,
Father Franklin Ezeorah
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