Gospel MT 5:38-42
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.”
In today’s gospel, Jesus is telling his disciples (and us) that the “old way” of an eye for an eye and the giving of the bare minimum must be abandoned.
A new attitude should prevail, an attitude of tolerance, self-abandondment, and generosity of spirit.
Jesus is saying that the “Christian way” is not to simply give the minimum that is needed, but to give lavishly.
If, as Christians, we are accused of making a mistake when serving others, we should be accused of giving too much rather than of giving too little.
And, it is not just a matter of giving to those who need our help. Jesus wants us to give with the right spirit, so as not to make the recipient of our gifts feel “less than” or feel they’re being given a “hand out.”
At My Brother’s Keeper, we remind our volunteers that although it is true that “it is more blessed to give than it is to receive,” it is equally true, it is more difficult to receive than it is to give.
When on food deliveries, we take the opportunity to explain to the teenagers who are volunteering for the first time that we are not simply delivering food. We are delivering the love and hope of God.
When we enter the person’s home, it is important that we are polite and joyous and we make our best effort to interact with those we are serving, to put them at ease and lessen their awkwardness at being on the receiving end.
The most successful delivery is the one when leaving the person’s home, everyone has forgotten about the food that has been delivered and it is simply a matter of saying goodbye to new friends.
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9: 6-7
Gospel MT 5:38-42