“THOSE WHO GIVE WILL NOT BE LEFT WITHOUT REWARD”
Is the first, in a series of my reflections on gratitude.
Every time we see images of poor and malnourished children or, even worse, children dying from a lack of food; we as parents, become moved and cannot help but wonder what if this was my kid? How painful must it be for a parent to helplessly watch their children die because they do not have the resources to save them. This breaks our hearts! And the pain we so deeply feel pushes us to help. Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say “Give until it hurts.” In other words, give from the bottom of your heart, lovingly, even if it causes a burden for you to do so. Nothing comes easy in life especially when it comes to providing our loved ones with safety and fulfillment.
Now, let’s see these images of lack through the eyes of Faith. Many billions of people have food and a place to live but are dying or, even worse, are the living dead. The poet Rubén Dario said, “Those who quietly enjoy a cold tomb are not dead; dead are those who have a dead soul and yet still live!”
This is a reality for billions of people in the world today. And what hurts me most is that people would mostly feel touched by those who are physically starving but not by those who are starving spiritually. Both should move us equally! Billions live in material poverty but enjoy the abundant life that Jesus has offered to them, even if they do not have plenty of food to eat they are still fed. A fulfilled person is on the path to Salvation despite their physical needs. While individuals that apparently have no material needs, but God, are on the path of death through starvation. Jesus warned us about this many times “for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the Lost.” (Luke 19:10) i.e., the sinners on the path of death; a spiritual hunger strike.
Today, I pray for the Father to Bless you and provide for your needs, especially for the most important one, your Faith. For where there is Faith, there is Hope and Love. And where there is Faith, Hope, and Charity nothing will be missing from your life! Today, I see a crowd of lost souls and I ask the Lord for wisdom so that we, as His children, can help save millions upon millions of souls. I could be very satisfied with the extent we have achieved so far and for having witnessed the Salvation of thousands of souls but it would hurt to know that there are many millions more that we have not been able to reach due to the simple lack of material resources from the Faithful who know the Joy of the Lord.
Let us say that we have 50 gallons of milk and we can feed 200 people a day with that milk. We would be very happy to see those 200 people receive milk, even if only for that day. Now, imagine that there are a thousand waiting for milk that day and we can only feed 200. So, 800 will leave empty-handed, thirsty.
Therefore, I pray to God so that we can see with spiritual eyes and great zeal the spiritual needs in the world and not be satisfied by helping a small number of individuals when millions around us are getting lost in hunger when you are hungry could not think straight and Faith is an action of the mind.
You and I can make a difference if we really love God. This is why we will campaign as we have never campaigned before. This is a divine inspiration that makes me feel certain that each of us can certainly contribute our two cents for the salvation of souls. During this Day, we will invite you to join as contributors – in case you are not yet – with only $20 (or $300 Mexican pesos) every month. Of course, if your economic situation allows for a little more, please go ahead! I am convinced that: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Cor 9:6) I know for a fact that no one is more generous than God!
As I mentioned before, I am just one of many volunteers in this apostolate. I have been serving for almost 40 years. And I have never asked for or earned any remuneration for my many years of service. On the contrary, God allows me to contribute economically to the work thanks to my optical business; for I have practiced the tithe as required in the Old Testament even though the Catholic Church does not require us to surrender one-tenth of the proceeds from our labor. Nevertheless, many bishops and priests do promote it in their Dioceses; the practice of generosity is based upon the biblical principle of the tithe, not as a requirement but as a way to show gratitude for the things we are receiving from God.
Since my Conversion to Christ, I decided to follow this simple gratitude model; I can assure you that I have never missed out on anything. Quite the contrary! I have witnessed Jesus’ promise honored again and again “if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is My Disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:42) And it adds that such a person will “get a 100 to 1 return.” I once told the following to a friend of mine that would often find himself in money problems “Look, I think that you will always find it hard to make a decent living until you learn to be generous and thankful.” Let us say that someone gives you 100 oranges. Would you dare to give 10 oranges to someone in need? Seizing all the oranges would be selfish or greedy, no? But a life lived in selfishness and greed cannot be healthy or freeing because your fruit bowl is always full, make room in your fruit bowl by taking out some of your fruit and sharing it with others; soon you see that you will need a bigger fruit bowl.
A grateful heart recognizes that everything received is on loan to us from the Father and sharing a small portion of it prevents death from greed and ungratefulness. Jesus tells us about a widow that contributed a few coins to the temple while others contributed much more. However, Jesus said that the woman gave more because she gave the only thing she had. That is, she gave 100 percent of what she had; fully trusting her Faith in the Father’s providence for her life, in other words, she went all in on God’s promises.
I have never written like this before about generosity and gratitude. And I decided to share like this because otherwise, many will continue to suffer from scarcity and never make ends meet. We all know that during Mass when the basket is passed around, people used to contribute a few coins. Today many individuals give one dollar, but I think we must be more generous with our communities and God’s works. Otherwise, we will miss God’s magnificent promises, like the one made by the prophet Malachi in chapter 3, verses 10 and 11:
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My House. Test Me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe, says the Lord Almighty.”
Wow! Remember Jesus’ words, “Bless your ears because they hear.”
I write this to you for one task and one task only that is before us today billions of lost souls must be reached with the Love of God for their conversion of heart, mind, and body. On the other hand, we may have to close some of the media outlets that we have today, radio or TV, for lack of support of their respective audiences. Without the generosity and gratitude of the listeners and viewers, we will certainly be unable to open more media.
So, don’t forget “whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Cor 9:6)
I invite you to join this month’s awareness campaign, Seminary of Gratitude; it can jumpstart your future abundance. There are 3 ways to start 1). If, for whatever reason, you have stopped contributing your mustard seed, please reactivate your account so that we can continue receiving your help. Dial (773) 777-7773 to reactivate your account. If you can contribute $10 USD (MEX$175) a month; please start today! 2). If you are an active Sower and would like to increase your monthly donation by sowing an additional mustard seed, please do so now. 3). Be a force multiplier, invite and encourage a family member or acquaintance to become a Sower, enjoy active generosity, and receive God’s Blessings for him/her and their family. For more information, please call (773) 777-7773. I thank the current and future Sowers of Jesus with Mary. Remember your Baptismal Promise; Priest, Prophet, and King. A Prophet does not see the future, a Prophet plants the future with the certainty that the seed planted will bear fruit, I invite you to be a Prophet today and plant your seed.
I pray for you and your families, that you may never miss God’s blessings and that the Divine Providence may abundantly shed all kinds of physical, material, and spiritual benefits over you. Shalom!
I thank you from the bottom of my heart,