Gospel: Jn 12:24-26
Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world save it even to everlasting life.
Whoever wants to serve me, let him follow me; and wherever I am, there shall my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
When we give someone a birthday present, for example, it could be for various reasons, reasons very different from one another. It could be because the recipient is my boss and everyone in the office is expected to give him a birthday gift. And so, it may happen that I make a birthday gift, not because I like my boss (in fact, it may be that I hate his guts) but because of the social pressure involved. Then I make my gift reluctantly (practically under duress), not willingly and readily. However, if I happen to love my boss, it will be a pleasure for me to make him a gift.
In today’s first reading the apostle Paul tells us that “God loves a cheerful giver.” Why? Probably because the cheerful giver loves the beneficiary of his gift, and God looks more at our heart (what inspires our gift) than at our gift itself.
Many generous Christians do many things for God. But they constantly drag their feet while doing those things. Obviously their heart is not in them. Those Christians should ask God to change their heart, to fill it with love, so that eventually they become cheerful givers, the ones really pleasing to God.
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