We are accustomed to giving gifts. We give gifts on Christmas, on birthdays, on anniversaries, and on Valentine’s Day.
We also know the experience of happiness when the one who receives the gift from us wears the gift, and uses the gift.
We see a blouse, shirt, shoes, or necklace being used by the one to whom we gave the gift, and we feel good.
On the other hand, we also start to ask questions when we don’t get to see those blouses, earrings, or rings. We start to ask questions like, “Does my friend still like me?”
Or worse is, we give someone a blouse or earrings or jewelry and we find them on somebody else. We feel bad and we see red. That is nature.
When we give gifts, we expect the ones to whom we gave the presents, to use them or at least to appreciate them. We expect the recipient of our gifts to at least keep them and value them.
It is different when God gives a gift. When God gives a gift, He gets angry when we keep it. When God gives a gift, he feels very bad when we keep it for ourselves.
All the gifts of God are meant to be shared. All the gifts of God are meant for others. All the gifts of God are for others. We are only bridges. We are only conduits. We are the only channels through which God spreads His gifts.
We have received many gifts but we have hoarded many gifts also. In that spirit, let us ask ourselves, “Of the gifts I have received from friends and from God, how much have I kept and how much have I shared?”
The mark of a true Christian is when we have given up everything we have received. When we have shared everything we have received, be they gifts from friends or gifts from God, only then can we say that we are truly followers of Christ.
When that happens, God can really be happy as a giver.
Reflections of Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan Mt. 21: 33-43, 45-46