Monday, April 10, 2017

when we give

Hermas tells us about giving to the poor today in A Year with the Church Fathers.

He says don't ever hesitate to give when you see a need. If the person is conning you, or if they're going to use it for bad reasons (like to further their drug addiction), God will take care of them. How they use the gifts we give them is between them and God. Our simple task is to give.

Now, that doesn't mean we have to give stupidly. If I see someone standing on the corner with a sign that says "Please help", I can help them in many ways. Handing them $100 bill may not be the best. Giving them a McDonald's or Subway gift card might be better. But better still is treating them like a human being. Smile at them. Wave or shake their hand. If you are near them long enough, ask their name. If you feel inclined, pray for them or with them. Throwing money at them is often not the best thing we can do. Reaching out in love to meet their spiritual needs as well as their physical ones is giving alms that last longer than mere money.

God, please give us wisdom in how to give, and help our hearts be generous.

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