You cannot argue with the wisdom of St. Paul when he quoted Jesus as saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 30:35b)

All - or almost all - of us have felt the joy and grace of being able to give something special to someone special. It does not necessarily have to be a gift-wrapped present. It can be a gift as simple as spending some time with someone.

We understand the benefits of giving. Many of us, though, are not that gracious when it comes to receiving. When given a gift, we often find ourselves saying, "Why did you do that?" or "You didn't have to get me anything."

Then there's the category that my mother fit in. If someone did her a kindness or a favor, she was not satisfied until she did or bought something for her benefactor. It was a never-ending cycle.

She would give my aunt a ride and my aunt would insist she take gas money. After going back and forth repeatedly, my mom would accept the money but then remember to pay for my aunt's meal the next time they dined out. Then my aunt would try to pay my mother when Mom drove. And so it went.

Why are we so good at giving, but so reluctant to receive? Maybe we are afraid we don't deserve it. Maybe we don't like to be in anyone's debt. Maybe we wonder how we will pay it back.

This may be why we are so reluctant to accept the gift of God's graces and love. Often, we probably do not deserve His gifts, but He wants us to have them anyway. The only debt we have is not a debt at all - it's love.

As far as paying God back for His love, all we have to do is love God with our hearts, minds, soul and strength, and to love others as we love ourselves.


God's love is the gift that keeps on giving.