Especially in our relation with God and with others, we need to give our all. Especially in our duties toward them, we should do our best to carry them out wholeheartedly.
The consideration of prudence and discretion may appear to us as if we have to be calculating and to give less than what we would like to give, but in the end what it does is to lead us to give our all.
We are reminded of this truth about our life in that gospel episode where Christ told his disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.” (Mk 4,21-22)
These words of Christ clearly tell us that we should always be at the service of God and others, doing the most important task of always giving glory to God and of leading everybody else to him.
And he capped this indication of his with a call to generosity when he said, “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has more, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Mk 4,24-25)
In our self-giving to God and to others, we should try our best to be energized, driven and zealous. That is actually the ideal condition for us. Even if we are endowed only with the most phlegmatic and melancholic temperaments, something must be burning inside our heart that cannot help but burst into a flame, a flame of love, of self-giving, of serving without expecting any return. If it is not yet there, then let’s enkindle it.
The secret again is always that vital identification with Christ who, in pursuit of his redemptive mission, expressed such zeal when he said: “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!” (Lk 12,49) And no amount of difficulty and suffering, and even death, could stop him from pursuing his mission. Such should also be out attitude.
If we are truly in love, with the love of God who is the source, pattern and end of love, we cannot help but, like Christ, be always energized, driven and zealous, no matter what the cost. Of course, this condition, this requirement is quite tough to meet, but if we would just try, and try again as often as necessary, certainly the ideal effect would just come about.
Let’s also remember that God has endowed us with everything we need for us to achieve our ideal condition that would enable us to give our all. We need to develop a keen sense of generosity and self-giving that is also a result of detachment. Let’s never forget that whatever we have comes from God who wants us to work for the common good. Thus, we hear St. Paul saying, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4,7)
We have been reminded of this need to cultivate generosity in the gospel. “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions,” Christ said. (Lk 12,15) Let’s remember that God cannot be outdone in generosity.*