Can we give without cost? Probably. Most of us can, at least some of the time. We can freely do or give to others. But, can we do this without even measuring the cost? It is this inner attitude of heart that I am interested in exploring today. It is entirely part of our human nature to calculate the cost of our actions before we do them. This is the essence of where I want to be, to give without cost as naturally flowing out of who I am without having to make a decision to give. Surely, there is grace in giving even when you don’t want to but how much better if it is just part of who I am.
- If I give money to this poor person, will I have enough for my own lunch?
- If I stop to help someone with a project, will I be late in getting mine done?
I think you can see where I am going with this. We constantly measure and then decide on how we are going to respond. This is where the disciples find themselves, they are probably used to evaluating their situations and choosing how to respond.
The disciples are sent out on mission. A mission of proclaiming the kingdom of heaven. How are they to do this? They are to bring healing; curing the sick, raising the dead, and driving out demons. Can they really do this? Earlier in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives them the authority to do just this.
Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Matthew 10:8
Jesus gave them a beautiful gift of faith and closeness to himself. None of them deserved it or could have earned it but they all have received abundantly from Jesus. I know in my own life I have received so many abundant gifts. Gifts of healing, mercy and forgiveness. Like the disciples, I am called to do the same thing. As I have received without cost, so I am to give without cost. I would go so far as to say not even counting the cost but rather something that just flows out of who I am as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
When I fall short of this expectation, I go back to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and I receive, once again, that mercy and forgiveness without cost. Then, I am filled and empowered with the Holy Spirit to go out and do just the same, to help bring others to Jesus for healing and to bring them to a place of relationship with Jesus.
Lord, help my heart to give without even measuring the cost. Help me to open my heart to others without reservation. Amen.