The first passage for today’s post comes from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians:
6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 9 As it is written,
“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. 13 Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
(2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
Reading through this, I was reminded of Dalrock’s point that Feminists are miserly with love. I don’t think this is limited to Feminists, however. I think we all must fight the tendency to be miserly with love. For myself, I know that I know that charity doesn’t come easily most of the time. There are some things I can be generous with, but at other times I struggle to give of myself. It is very easy to lose sight of the fact that everything we give up in charity in this life is repaid in the next. I need to constantly remind myself of this, and I realize that it is something I need God’s help in, because I haven’t the strength myself.
This brings me to the next selection, which is Psalm 146:
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
Two things of note caught my attention while praying this Psalm recently. The first is found in verses 3 and 4. Trust is a delicate thing. One thing that has helped me in my faith is that I’ve always known I can trust God. He has always kept His faith with me, and I’ve never felt a sense of betrayal. All of the bad theology and false guidance I’ve received over the years I know to be the work of humans, not of God. I think this is an important thing for those of us to keep in mind who have been fed false theology for so long. We should know that in God alone can we trust, and that if anything, we should have expected to be let down (one way or another) by our fellow man.
Verses 7-9 also caught my attention, because they seem to describe Jesus to a T. Fed the hungry? Check. Set prisoners free? Check (think of those imprisoned in Sheol before His death). Opened the eyes of the blind? Check. And so on and so forth. There are lots of little hints like this scattered throughout Scripture, and its quite fun to come across them when you aren’t expecting it. At least, so it seems to me.
Here is a little snippet from Deuteronomy I am curious about:
5 “When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.
My NAB translations says, instead of the man being happy, that the newlywed man would “bring joy to his wife” by staying there. I’m curious if any of my readers who are better in translations than I have any thoughts on which is the better translation. I’ve a few thoughts on this, and the translation matters.
Finally, I conclude with this small bit from the Gospel of Matthew:
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; 23 but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
This is an interesting saying by Jesus, and one that has never been easy for me to understand. I’m curious what interpretations exist for it, and when I get a chance I will see what some of the saints have said. After re-reading it, I think that what Jesus is saying is that the way we look at the world (the health of our eye) affects everything we do. A cynical outlook that distorts the nature of God’s Creation will reverberate throughout out body, and affect everything about us. In essence, our body and our actions will come to match our dark outlook on life. Perhaps some of my readers can offer their thoughts.