It is in giving that we receive” by Bridget O’Connell

It is in giving that we receive”                                                                      Reflection for 13 Sunday


There is a story told about two brothers who worked together on the family farm. One was married and had a large family. The other was single. At the day’s end, the brothers shared everything equally, produce and profit.

Then one day the single brother said to himself, “It’s not right that we should share equally the produce and the profit. I’m alone and my needs are simple.” So each night he took a sack of grain from his bin and crept across the field between their houses, dumping it into his brother’s bin.

Meanwhile, the married brother said to himself, “It’s not right that we should share the produce and the profit equally. After all, I’m married and I have my wife and my children to look after me in years to come. My brother has no one, and no one to take care of his future.” So each night, he took a sack of grain and dumped it into his single brother’s bin.

Both men were puzzled for years because their supply of grain never dwindled. Then one dark night the two brothers bumped into each other.

Slowly it dawned on them what was happening. They dropped their sacks and embraced one another.

When we live in openness to God’s Spirit within us, we discover that giving is receiving, and that sacredness is all around us. Our readings this Sunday invite us to reflect on the blessings of this openness.

In the Old Testament story from the book of Kings, we hear about the hospitality offered to Elisha.  The reward is new life even in their old age for those who welcomed him.

St Paul in our second reading reminds us of our life with Christ in Baptism and of how in dying with Him we rise to new life.

The Gospel from Matthew tells us that in our journey of following Christ – when we lose our life we find it, when we welcome one another we welcome Christ and the Father, and by giving a cup of cold water we will be rewarded.

It is the little things in life that really are the big moments. In the words from Patrick Kavanagh’s poem “The Great Hunger”

For God is not all
In one place………. God is in the bits and pieces of Everyday –
A kiss here and a laugh again, and sometimes tears,
A pearl necklace round the neck of poverty.(The Great Hunger)

We pray that in our busy daily lives, we like the people in today’s psalm, may become “Those who walk O Lord in the light of your face, who find their joy every day in your name”.