THE THORNS IN CHARITY, By Fr Oluwafemi Victor Orilua, CSSp


Genesis 3:9-24, Mark 8:1-10


“It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

QUOTES: While we don’t withdraw our love from those who abuse our generosity, we must not wait until when their repeated sense of ingratitude will kill our urge to be charitable.

God, out of his special love for man made a woman fit for him to keep him company. But when out of cheer disobedience man fell, instead of taking responsibility for his action, he began to indict God himself. He had the free will to refuse the fruits which Eve gave him, but he succumbed to her persuasion.

However, it is an awful reality that our greatest pain comes mostly from the people who have enjoyed our generous love. While some take our  beautiful gestures as bait to get at them, some may see the much we do as too little. At times, the concession we give to save someone from a pitiable state can be translated into a right. Any failure to repeat an act of charity will be taken as an offence. All these boil down to the fact that human appetite is insatiable. There is a void in everyone which cries for more. So, when we help, we must not always expect appreciation. There is a thorn in charity.

Notwithstanding, we must not allow man’s ingratitude to make our work of charity grow cold. It is only love that can build the world. Though God did not spare Adam and Eve, he did not withdraw his love from them. He chastised them, for he chastised those who he loves. Shortly before he banished them from the garden, “The Lord God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on”. He didn’t allow them to remain naked. He covered their shame.

While we don’t withdraw our love from those who abuse our generosity, we must not give room for their evil to linger. Knowing that Adam and Eve have wised up, God decided to remove them far from the tree of life lest they live forever.

Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, with his knowledge of good and evil. He must not be allowed to stretch his hand out next and pick from the tree of life also and eat some and live forever.’ So the Lord God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken

There are ways of preventing ungrateful people from killing our sense of charity. We must use discretion and wisdom in reaching out to them.

May God help us that nothing may stop us from showing his generous love. May charity be our cloak. Amen.



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