In the late-40s A. D. a famine spread across Judea and Christians in Jerusalem were in dire need. The leaders of the Jerusalem Church, James, Cephas, and John asked Paul to assist the poor, which Paul was willing to do. Paul asked the Christians to contribute and make an offering to provide relief to Jerusalem Christians. Paul asked Christians to give in the first letter of Corinthians as well as in today’s first reading in the second letter of the Corinthians. In the second letter he uses the Macedonian Church as an example of generous giving. (Adapted from Richard Neill Donovan, Sermon Writer, Biblical Commentary 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 https://sermonwriter.com/biblical-commentary-old/2-corinthians-96-15/)
The Corinthian Church responded to Paul’s request and gave generously in spite of being poor. Some of the Corinthians complained that they could not give generously because they were quite poor. Paul tries to convince these Corinthians that if they give generously then they will receive God’s generous blessings in return. Hence, God loves a cheerful and a generous giver.(Richard Neill Donovan, Sermon Writer, Biblical Commentary 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 https://sermonwriter.com/biblical-commentary-old/2-corinthians-96-15/)
Paul then shares a principle that a farmer would know that if one sows the seed too sparingly then that farmer will reap a poor and sparse harvest. What is our spirit when we give? Each of us are called to be generous, merciful, and compassionate. It helps to be positive when giving to others. We are called to be generous even on our grumpy days.
Lord, today help me discover someone I can be generous to in a spirit of love and compassion.
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.