The Gospel Today
Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”
Reflection (Sem. Rolly Teng):
I would like to begin my reflection by defining what generosity is all about. According to Wikipedia, generosity is the habit of giving without expecting anything in return. It can involve offering time, assets or talents to aid someone in need. Often equated with charity as a virtue, generosity is widely accepted in society as a desirable trait.
I remember when I was involved in the youth ministry. I was very enthusiastic and energetic every time we held youth gatherings; I helped in preparations and in the event itself. We, the youth leaders, devoted ourselves purely in service; service in a sense that we give much of our time, talents, and ideas even without pay. Later on, this voluntary work became a habit, until such time that we longed for the gathering and service for the young. Maybe this is also your experience, it might not be in the youth ministry, but more so, on your personal daily encounter with the people around you.
I believe this is what today’s gospel all about. When Jesus said “If anyone wants to go to law with your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you…”
We render our service without expecting in return. This is the very essence of generosity. When we give, we do not expect in return. Like God, He loves us so much. God is very generous to all of us. God gave His beloved Son Jesus to save us from our sinfulness. He was sent not to condemn us but to save us. When Jesus washed the feet of the apostles before he suffered for our sins, Jesus showed us how we can serve unconditionally. Jesus took the form of a slave for us to have a concrete model of service and generosity. When we become generous to others we share the very goodness of God, His being and wisdom, because we are created in the image and likeness of God.
To end my reflection I would like to share this quotation from Valerian homily, “Whatever you give to the poor you do without a doubt put out at interest. This interest will yield you its returns later on when the labors of every man will be evaluated and multiplied honor conferred.