In one of his homilies, St. John Chrysostom is convinced that, as he says, “You will not do so much good to the poor as to yourself, when you benefit them” and he also says, “Do you not know that God enacted almsgiving not so much for the sake of the poor as for the sake of the persons themselves who bestow their goods to the poor?”
For St. John Chrysostom, giving to the poor is the greatest way to “Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matt. 6:20).” As he exhorts: “Let us then transfer our wealth, and remove it thither [i.e., to Heaven]. We shall not need for such a transfer donkeys, or camels, or carriages, or ships (God has relieved us even of this difficulty), but we only need the poor, the lame, the crippled, the infirm [to whom to give our wealth]. These are the ones who are entrusted with this transfer, they convey our riches to Heaven, they introduce the masters of such wealth as this to the inheritance of everlasting good things.” So it is completely in character for St. John Chrysostom to advise families: “Make your house a Church, your little alms-box a treasury. Become a guardian of sacred wealth, a self-ordained Steward of the poor. Your benevolence gives you this priesthood.”
On this day of Pentecost, pray that as the Holy Spirit descends upon us that we may open our hearts to the poor, those in need, our families, our neighbors, our co-workers and each and everyone one that is created in the image and likeness of God. We pray also, that as the Apostles spoke in various languages, that we also, can speak in various languages to the extent that we define our Stewardship commitment. Every aspect of Stewardship is a blessing.