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God Can't Be Bribed

Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time (A)

My dear encountered couples:

Sirach speaks of keeping God’s laws, of works of charity, of sacrifices. He tells us that all these are pleasing to God when they are done with a generous spirit. “With each contribution,” he says, “show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy. Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.

God has given us more than we can ever hope to thank him for. Using what we have as he intends us to use it, sharing what we have with others should make us feel good. For it is about the only ways we really have of showing our gratitude. And Sirach seems to promise that those who are generous with what God has given them will receive back seven times more than they give up.

Then, Sirach goes on to warn us, “Offer no bribes to God, these he does not accept.

Have you ever promised God anything if he would do such and such? “I will go to Mass everyday, God, if you will let me win the lottery.” “I will pray the rosary, Lord, each day for the rest of my life, if you will cure me of my sickness.” Or you promise to give up smoking or drinking, you’ll be nice to Pat whom you haven’t spoken to for years, you won’t watch your favorite TV soap for a month, or whatever, if God will do what you want him to do.

In other words, have you ever tried to bribe God? Sirach says, “Don’t even think of doing it.” “God doesn’t accept bribes.” We are to do what we do because of gratefulness, out of love - gladly. Or we might as well forget it.

Let us ask ourselves - “Why?

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