Givers and Takers

By Fr. David Hughes on November 19, 2015

There are takers and givers in this world. The takers go through their lives always on the lookout for what they can get. No matter what situation they find themselves in, the thought that is always uppermost in their minds is: What can I get out of this? What’s in it for me? This kind of person may appear to do a lot of good things for people, but the motivation underlying his or her actions is anything but good. In today’s Gospel the scribes are the takers. They want the best seats in the synagogues; they want to be given special signs of respect and to sit at the head table at the banquets. And yet we are told that they cheat widows out of the little money that they have to live on. Jesus warns us to beware of such people. And if we happen to be that kind of person, Jesus is asking us to change. Then there are the givers. This kind of person spontaneously perceives where and when something is needed. They do this out of their sensitivity to others. The givers do not keep score on the favours they receive nor on the favours they give. They don’t look on everything from the viewpoint of what they can get out of it. Givers are people who are following the basic commandment to love. Love doesn’t count the cost. The widow was a giver. She did not count the cost of her giving. In fact, she gave everything, all she had to live on. Jesus was amazed at seeing this woman drop her two small coins into the temple treasury. Generosity is not a privilege of the rich. Everyone can practice generosity, since it is relative to what each one has.

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