Give according to your means, and receive according to your needs

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 12, 2021 - 12:00am

This is not really a socialist dictum but the solemn advice of our Lord, Jesus Christ. These are declared in different words in Acts 20:35, in Philippians 4:19 and in second Corinthians 9:7. When people line up to go to a community pantry, they bring something to give, and when they see something they need, they pick it up. This really is the essence of life, to be willing to give, and to be joyful to receive. Our parents gave us life, and we bequeath life to our children.

Nowadays, there are so many people who need help, but surprisingly perhaps, there are also so many people who are willing and able to help. The community pantry provided the bridge where the givers and the receivers would meet. But at many occasions, one can be both a giver and a taker or a receiver. If we really think about it, giving and receiving are the two most important activities in life. The farmers give to the rest of the community the products that sustain life and he receives very little pay for all his long and hard labor. The fisherfolks, the shepherds, and the butchers give us food too and they receive their pay. The teachers give us the means to learn, the doctors give us the treatment, and the priest caters to our spiritual needs. The world is like a huge community pantry and the Lord allows us to become both givers and receivers.

No one is so poor that he has nothing to give, nor exceedingly wealthy as not to need anything from others. We are all little rivers which get water from the same ocean, and we give whatever we receive, for to withhold is to perish, to be punished by nature for misunderstanding the meaning of our existence, for losing the true meaning why we are alive. There are those who have no money to give and so they give their services. There are those who have no time to serve and so they send money or canned goods. We give according to what we can afford to share. And we receive only what we need so that the others can also receive as well. There those who give and give them anonymously and the Father in heaven rewards them abundantly. For the epals who give in order to be admired, this makes their gifts unpleasant and unwholesome in the eyes of the Lord.

There are those who receive and get beyond what they need and so they rob the others who have more urgent needs. Those who give enough as well as those who get only what is necessary are true believers of the bounty of life, and they shall be amply rewarded for their faith. Those who never give at all are imprisoned by their fears that tomorrow or in the future they shall have nothing more for themselves. Those who get and get without giving in return are the lost souls who do not understand at all the beautiful paradox of life. These are the people who do not trust the Father who is the source of all blessings. They are not like the flowers who trust the sun and the rain to nourish them. They are not like the birds who rely on the flowers and the seeds of the trees so that they could partake of the fruits that Mother Nature allows the plants to bear not for themselves alone but for others.

The joy of giving and the joy of receiving are the sweetest gifts from the Creator of all things, the source of all blessings, the ocean from which we draw all the water that sustains us. The community pantry is not a communist propaganda. It is God's reminder of the true meaning of living in this world. Blessed are those who have discerned the true essence of life, and woe unto them who remain in the dark.

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