Claretian Missionaries - East Nigeria Province

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Daily Reflections


READINGS: 1 Kings 17: 7-16, Ps. 4, Matthew 5: 13-16

THEME: Charity does not impoverish us but makes us shine like light and taste as salt.

There is a saying that we should be careful how we receive a stranger for we may be having the visitation of an angel. God came to us as man in Jesus Christ and continues to come to us in other human beings who are his image to visit us daily. We should not take for granted anybody who comes to us or someone who asks for help from us. Even though financial hick-up has put people in disarray making numerous people to depend on charity and beggars are now more than the begged. In spite of this, we must be careful how we receive them and address them for some genuine ones come to us from God to make charitable demands from us as angels of God are among them. Our charity should not make us to take things and security for granted because our days are evil. Today’s first reading calls us to caution in the manner we receive visitors and treat them as God had planned and sent Elijah to a needy widow to take a responsibility that seems unbearable. The first reading today reveals a lot of things: First is that no matter how miserably poor and in need we may be, we are still better than some. Secondly it gives us responsibility towards some others. Again there are some people that God has by his will assigned to us to take refuge under us and be helped by us. It also teaches us that when God gives you a responsibility and you take it up by faith, he provides the means of doing it. God has not stopped doing miracles in our lives even in our material lack when we accept it in good faith. We also from this story see that God places some responsibilities on us even though we think we cannot do anything as the disciples did at the desert. Jesus would always tell us: Give them something yourselves. It is not always good to find reasons to deny someone charity since charity is a divine responsibility and that makes it a debt we owe God in them. Another lesson is the pain in doing charity and fear of losing what we have. Fear not, go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me and afterwards make for yourself and your son. This was a high and seeming difficult and impossible demand; it was a great test on the woman. Charity carries painful assignment and never very easy. Any charity you make that does not pain or affect you is something you never needed and not genuine charity. If we by bad heart refuse to pay this debt, we offend God who is the provider and the master that owns everything as he told the apostles when he instructed them to go and untie the colt for his entry to Jerusalem. If he should be angry that you refused a genuine charity and he decides to withdraw all he has given you even the one you have shall be taken away like in the case of this widow, the child was later almost taken away.

Beloved, God sends a lot of Elijahs to us in various forms and often times we have rejected them and are suffering their consequences and asking why things are getting so bad in our lives the way they are. Charity, the scriptures says, covers multitude of sins. With Charity, the barren woman got a child by receiving Elijah. By charity, this widow today got the bountiful blessing of God by the miraculous multiplication of food in her house from nothing to something, from little to superabundance and excess. “For thus says the Lord the God of Israel, the jar of meal shall not be spent, and the pitcher of oil shall not fail until the day the Lord send rain upon the earth” As the prophet said so it became in that house

Beloved, in true charity we prove that we are the light that God has sent to help the blind to see and those in darkness to have hope of continuity. We all know how in darkness movement is restricted and fear engulfs but whoever brings light sends hope and joy. The one in need is in the darkness of want and is stranded; let your charity become a light for him to move on in life. The world is full of bitterness and so life is very sour and tasteless. The Christian is sent by God to be a salt to the tasteless world and in the tasteless life of many. Let your charity make someone know and see that the world made by God is sweet and has a good taste. Change the taste of life of someone today. We as Christians have a mission on earth and raison detre. We are meant to be salt and light to many and to the entire world by our action and especially in the context of today in charity.

O Lord, lift up the light of your face on us so that each time we call on you in our needs you will answer and provide us a helper. May we never miss our light and salt that should change the taste of our lives not only materially but spiritually. May we never become a light that does not remove darkness or a salt that that does not give good taste to the world. Lord, never make us find reasons not to do good or to refuse accepting the responsibilities you have placed in our hands despite the odds of life; may we believe that the spirit that sends the child to the farm to harvest yam in dry season would always provide the instrument, Amen.