Shortly before retiring, Pope Benedict XVI said: “One receives one’s life precisely when it is given as a gift. “
He was referring to the Law of the Gift of Saint John Paul II: “Man can only find himself fully through a sincere gift of himself.
As a law, the generosity of sacrifice is required for the life of faith. This is also true for all human beings. Although it is common to say, “Better to give than to receive,” there is a spiritual reason for this saying. The more we truly give of ourselves, the more we truly become ourselves. It is one of the joys of our faith that when we work hard to serve a parish community, whatever apostolic work we do, we receive in return much more than we have given.
This is why we are more defined by what we give than by what we have. Our sacrifices, big and small, are in imitation of Jesus Christ, who gave his life for us. The cross is our symbol for the life of faith. We strive to offer our very being to Christ by sacrificing what it takes to live the gospel.
It’s understandable that most people hold back from giving what is most important to us. Sometimes it’s a prudent saving for future needs, or a practical realization that we can’t do it all. Other times it’s just greed.
Under the well-worn stewardship of time, talent, and treasure, it is not an option to choose between them. To truly be a gift of self, we offer each of them. Particularly at 21st century, financial donations come from where we put a lot of our time and our talent.
When it comes to our involvement in the life of the Church, we cannot just give financially and be a spectator on the bench. Likewise, active participation is not a passage of a financial contribution.
When we truly experience the Law of the Gift, then we humbly trust that God will not be forsaken. When we think we don’t have a dime to lose, give it away and we’ll get more. When we think we don’t have a moment to waste, give it up and we’ll have all the time we need. And when we feel that none of our abilities are needed, offer what we have anyway and we’ll feel like the most gifted person on earth.
In every gift offered, the sacrifices of the heart share love.
Giving yourself as a gift finds an echo in a variation of an old African story. A non-Native missionary was frustrated after weeks begging his penniless congregation to find the money to fix a leaking roof. It was the rainy season and the drops seemed more abundant above the pulpit.
Disappointed that no one had come with the money, a young man walked up to the altar, emptied the large gift basket of vegetables that couldn’t be used to fix a roof, and went inside . He offered himself.
The Law of Gift is even expressed in an old children’s song. Music and lyrics were written by Malvina Reynolds. Called “The Magic Penny,” the opening lines (condensed here) beautifully express one of the deepest truths about who we are as children of God:
“Love is something if you give it away you end up having more. It’s like a magic penny, hold it tight and you won’t get any. Lend it, spend it, and you get it. will have so much that they will roll on the ground.
‘Ley del Regalo’
Category: Only Jesus