Year after year, celebrities and politicians encourage us to give back to their idea of “the greater good’—leaving little else to invest in the causes closest to our hearts.
We are expected to blindly hand over our blessings to help our fellow man. However, it is rarely acknowledged that our possessions are not our own—they belong to Christ. And we should cheerfully give if and when we are able.
The true conflict is introduced when a request for goodwill morphs in to a self-righteous demand, one that does not recognize the divinity of Christ but rather insists on the idea of engineered equality on Earth.
In a letter that was read by my priest on Christmas Eve, the Archbishop discussed the evils that dictate global society, a lack of generosity at the heart of his message. He also was careful to point out that giving has nothing to do with the practice of sanctimonious confiscation.
Those who force others to give or be punished with fines or the judgment of their peers are no better than the people who are unwilling to share their financial success.
This Christmas, Les Miserables opened in theaters across the United States. Telling the beloved story of former thief Jean Val Jean, the film explores what it truly means to give your entire being to another, to sacrifice everything you have in the name of love.
The heroes are the downtrodden, the foremost of sinners. A convict, a prostitute, and the destitute daughter of two wretched human beings—they’ve known only suffering. Yet each character has somehow discovered the treasure of selfless love, a gift from God that is often ignored today, replaced instead by empty charity. It is regularly gifted with the expectation of something in return, a reward of popularity or simple peace of mind.
It is up to us to never congratulate ourselves or others on the decision to give. Instead, we must pray that the grace of God will lead us to give of ourselves in His name. Salvation can never be achieved alone.
“He is respectful of our freedom. He wants us to receive Him freely… Let us invite Him to be a permanent resident of our hearts.” – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios