In life we know that in order to find true happiness we need to be generous to others, in ways both materially and spiritually. I think most people in honesty want to. But people are such that we need to accumulate enough for ourselves before we consider giving some to others. We try to figure out how much enough is really enough. Often, we get lost in our surpluses.
“This does not mean that to give relief to others you ought to make things difficult for yourselves: it is a question of balancing what happens to be your surplus now against their present need, and one day they may have something to spare that will supply your own need”. (Today’s second reading)
This is not a new savings plan with a guaranteed return. At least, not materially where we can draw back what we have given when we are in need. To use a ‘people term’, this is an investment, but a spiritual investment. It pays out fulfilment and it is life giving to others and self.
What holds most people back to give generously to others (mistakenly) is sometimes the image of the crucifix. To become good people – “to give relief to others” – does not mean a life of suffering. Too often, we practice our faith stuck at the foot of the cross. We are not called into ritualistic penance. Becoming good people of faith does not mean to live our life on a cross.
The crucifix is a reminder of his love that will give relief to our lives. Blood poured in that image to take away anything that brings death to our life. Love flowed to give us true happiness. He rose to conquer all death. “Death was not God’s doing, he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living” (first reading). He takes pleasure to see us alive, to live life happily and joyfully. He wants us to live off his Cross.
However in reality we do get lost in the surpluses of this world. When we do not know when enough is enough, we disconnect ourselves from the flow of his love and our faith life hemorrhages. Slowly happiness is bled out of us. It may take 12 years, or sometimes even longer. Until desperation, sometimes accompanied by physical pain, drives us deep into submission to want to admit God back into our life. Desperate hope tells us it’s enough if we can just touch his clothes.
We are never alone in our desperation. When our spiritual surpluses run dry, someone will come with something to spare for our own need. God will send a Jairus to us to lead and plead on our behalf because we ourselves have become too poor spiritually. God takes no pleasure in seeing us live a life devoid of true happiness. He will always say “Talitha kum!” and continue to love us as though we are just a little girl in faith. Live and be rich in our spiritual life!
The world today is hemorrhaging simply because people cannot tell when enough is really enough. Going this way will only guarantee that we will live life on a cross. Be generous, allow his blood to flow through our lives, and live life off the Cross.
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time