Sunday, August 10, 2014
Almsgiving gives rise to many blessings ( part 2 ) - St. John Chrysostom
Build palaces and mansions in Heaven without the help of engineers and contractors.
Buildings are erected in Heaven by the poor whom you help here on earth. These structures never
deteriorate or collapse.
Furthermore, they also help you to win God’s favor, and they purify you from sins—sometimes they can even deliver you from death!
Do not be surprised with what I say.
Everyone, of course, is powerless before death;
almsgiving, none the less, can conquer even death itself. This is confirmed by the account of Tabitha.
Tabitha was a Christian who lived in Jope during the time of the Apostles. As described in the
Holy Scriptures, she performed many good works and continuously gave alms.
At some point she became ill and died. At that time the Apostle Peter happened to be in a
neighboring city named Lydda, which was not far from Joppa. Two Christians from Jope went to
find the Apostle and informed him that this compassionate and charitable woman had just died. Upon hearing this, the Apostle immediately followed them.
When he arrived in Joppa, he proceeded to the second story of the house where they had placed the body of the deceased. There, he was encircled
by many widows; all of them were crying and showing him the clothes and garments that Tabitha had bought for them while she was still alive.
What did the Apostle Peter do then? He kneeled and prayed. Next he turned to the corpse and said, “Tabitha, arise!” That very same moment the dead woman opened her eyes, and, when she saw the Apostle, she got up. The Apostle Paul grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet.
Then he called all the Christians and the widows
who were gathered there and presented her to them (Acts 9:36-41). Do you see how she was rewarded for the alms and help she gave to those poor and needy widows? The blessing she received was incomparably greater than the alms she gave, even if she had given all the money in the world.
St. John Chrysostom