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A Miracle of giving

September 9, 2021 Bro. Clifford T. Sorita 610 views

SoritaWHY is it,” said the rich man to his minister, “that people call me stingy when everyone knows that when I die I’m leaving all my possessions to the church?” “Let me tell you a fable about the pig and the cow,” said the minister. The pig was unpopular while the cow was beloved. This puzzled the pig. “People speak warmly of your gentle nature and your sorrow eyes,” the pig said to the cow. “They think you’re generous because each day you give them milk and cream. But what about me? I give them everything I have. I give bacon and ham. I provide bristles for brushes. They even pickle my feet! Yet no one likes me. Why is that?” “Do you know what the cow answered?” said the minister. The cow said, “Perhaps it is because I give while I’m still living.”

The Gospel account on the multiplication of the loaves is a unique miracle (Jn 6:1-15). It is the only one found in each of the four gospels. But what is its message? When the disciples suggested sending the people away to find lodging and food because there wasn’t enough to feed them, they were suggesting to let each one take care of himself. But Jesus solves this problem by demonstrating an act of charity and not of selfishness. The miracle of a world where there would be plenty of food for all can be accomplished when selfish motives are set side, and all started working collectively to share what one has. This is the true Miracle … a miracle of giving!

Looking at our own Philippine situation, PCP II laments over the blatant fact that an almost exclusively selfish view of private property and resources has contributed to a wide gap between the rich and the poor plus the increasingly oppressive deprivation of thousands of Filipino families. The genuine economy of resources does not consist in having, but in being. A person may have, but only in order that he may be.

Man has needs and has the right to use and possess the goods of the earth to satisfy his needs. However, care must be taken to ascertain that needs are authentic human needs and not just artificial needs fueled by excessive consumerism. Certainly, our Church reminds us, there is nothing wrong in wanting to live a better quality of life. What is wrong is a lifestyle “which is presumed to be better when it is directed towards having rather than being, and which wants to have more, not in order to have more but in order to spend life in enjoyment as end in itself.”

And, it is because of the fact that government has the greatest control over all our resources (most especially during this health crisis) we need to make sure that in 2022 we should elect men and women in office who would in themselves inspire to a miracle of giving. They should be ones who: (1) prefer the cause of the poor and underprivileged; (2) animate others – through his/her words, works, witness – towards a commitment: (a) to share with the poor, (b) to serve the poor, (c) to live simply so that the poor may benefit, and (d) to being with, working with and learning from the poor; and, (3) use their possessions and means primarily for the common good and no just for personal gain.

In a political world such as ours, only a handful are willing to give way for the common good at the price of his/her own possessions and interests. It has always been the defense mechanism of officials to hide behind pretension of having to bear the burden of insufficient funding for projects and expenses, which spells improvements. The charade is over … it is high time to elect generous leaders, someone who will never be hampered by a rotten political system but would conversely inspire others towards a miracle of giving in meeting the needs of others.

Moreover, Bayanihan teaches us that CHARITY in CRISIS will enable every Filipino to surmount this pandemic because greater than any infectious virus is the indomitable “human spirit” which seeks to help one another to overcome any obstacle. As St. Augustine explains, “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like”. Let’s continue to Spread the Charity Virus, and let this be our true New Normal.

There is an old saying that goes: “If you want Joy for an hour, take a nap. If you want Joy for a day, go fishing. If you want Joy for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want Joy for a lifetime, help somebody.” For decades, the greatest thinkers have suggested the same thing: Joy is found in helping others. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).

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