The Gospel according to Matthew (5:38-42)
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”
Reflection: Before the pandemic, Mary’s Mercy Center would host an annual Christmas Party. This party was for all the underprivileged children in the area of San Bernardino. There would be a huge tent where Santa Claus would be at, and the tent had elves (volunteers) and was filled with wrapped gifts (toys). But outside the tent was the prize possession, it had hundreds of brand-new bikes for boys and girls. Needless to say, there is always a line around the block and the line would start hours before the event started. The objective for these families was to get a bike but it wasn’t easy. Let me explain, the number of bikes didn’t equal the number of children so when it was their time to get a gift, they had to pick a ticket out of a box. One ticket said “gift” and the other “bike”. You could see by the expression on the children that received the gift were sad but they kept a stiff upper lip. But the children that received the bike … their smile was ear-to-ear.
There is one particular scenario that I was Blessed to experience. There was this boy, he was about 11-12 years old that won a bike and he was glowing with joy. Then there was another family, right behind the boys family, with a little girl that wasn’t so lucky and didn’t get the bike ticket. The little girl was so distraught and was fighting to hold back the tears. She was so upset that she couldn’t gain enough energy to pick a toy. Her family did everything in their power to try to compose that girl but failed. Now here’s the Blessing. The boy witnessed all this, and I saw him lean into his parents and say something; they nodded with a smile and a affirmation. The boy walked over to the girl and stretched his arm out to the girl and in his hand was the ticket for the bike. This boy was giving her his bike ticket!
The JOYFULNESS he brought to that little girl was priceless and probably made her Christmas. But think about what else this tiny act of kindness possibly created. It could be possible that this gift relieved the girls’ parents because they could afford a new bike. It could be possible that this little girl will NEVER forget this beautiful act of kindness. Imagine how proud the boys’ parents must have been. This whole act of kindness was also a gift for me to experience. It brought me to tears and I’m still tearing up now as I recall this moment.
There are 3 types of “Giving”: Time is to Give your time from your busy lives to assist someone or volunteer somewhere. Talent is to use your gift that God gave you such as baking, singing, listening, and talking to someone. Treasure is to give financially to a charity that makes a difference in this world.
You see, my brothers and sisters, a little act of kindness goes a long way and touches not just one life but many lives. I believe that when you “Give” that God will repay you in many other ways. 2nd Corinthians (9:6-8) states the following: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”. I wonder what gift this boy received from God.
One last thing, after all this was over, I approached the boy with his parents, and I asked him why did he do this? He just looked at me with this undisputable look; he shrugged his shoulders and said, “She needed a bike more than me”. Simple as that! A few things immediately came to my mind; first, I was amazed by the graciousness of this boy considering where and how he lived. Secondly, I prayed that I could be just like this boy. I also prayed that this boy would receive a gift from God and that’s when it hit me … was this boy Jesus????
Action of the Day: This is just one example of giving and kindness and there are many other examples out there. But this world needs many, many more. What act of kindness will you do today?