Sunday, November 8, 2015

Is your “I” included in the gifts you give? - Daily Reflections November 8,2015

I remember once when I celebrated my anniversary to the priesthood, I invited to the seminary many of the friends God has blessed my priesthood with. Of course, people from my former parishes were also there. I received several gifts that day: shirts, personalized Parker sign pens, perfume and several checks even. But in connection with today’s Gospel, I remember one particular gift that a parishioner from my first parish gave me — a small pad of stick-ons. Yes, stick-ons. It was not even the kind that you buy in a bookstore. It was obviously a free promo material given by a pharmaceutical company and its name was printed on every page.
       I smiled when I got that gift. On the first page, he wrote: “Padre, pagpasensyahan nyo na po ito. Libre ko lang po nakuha ito pero dalawang oras naman po ang binuno ko para makarating sa seminaryo nyo. He, he, he. Maligayang anibersaryo po!” (Father, this is not much. I just got this for free but I did spend two hours braving the traffic just to get to your place). Not that I didn’t appreciate all the other gifts I received that day. I did. But that one really got my attention. Her note took my attention away from the gift and directed my attention to the heart of the giver.
       Jesus in today’s Gospel reminds us of the kind of gift that catches God’s attention. Observing everyone who has put in their gift to the altar, Jesus said of the poor widow’s oblation of two small copper coins, “Truly I tell you… this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
       Jesus teaches us today the essence of a gift. Gifts are only an extension of the giver. Likewise, we are being taught how to receive a gift. We are to look not on the gift but on the affection of the giver. It’s all about the heart of the person.
       As a sage once put it: all give some, some give all. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Is your “I” included in the gifts you give? Do you appreciate and pay attention to the “I” that is sacramentalized by a gift that you received?
May the whole of my life be a gift blessed, broken and shared. Amen.

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