If we are truly followers of Christ, then whatever we give to others, especially to God, is done without counting the cost. It should purely be gratuitous, given as a gift.
If our understanding of giving is that of a gift, we would know that what we give is not just some objects, but rather our own selves. Our giving ourselves as a gift to others then becomes the purest expression of love.
We have to do everything so that our self-giving to others conform to this ideal of being a gift—given without counting the cost and with the understanding that what we are giving is not just some objects, but our own selves.
This is the language of love that was first initiated by God to us and that has generated an endless cycle of love, of gratuitous self-giving to God and to one another. It is important that we feel this tremendous love of God for us so that we can return love with love, with God as the first object of our love and all the others as a consequence.
Let us remember that God’s love for us accounts for everything that is good in us—our life, our talents and the many other endowments and blessings that we may not even realize. And more than this, God has given us his own self by making us his image and likeness, children of his, sharers of his divine life.
And even if we have damaged that original gift, God has given us his own Son, who became man to save us. In other words, God has given us the greatest gift, no less than his own Son who, aside from becoming man like us, had to offer his life on the cross as a ransom for our sins.
We have to learn how to be most aware of this reality of God’s gift to us so that we can learn also how to give ourselves as a gift to him and to everybody else. That’s why Christ told us, “freely you have received, freely give.” (Mt 10,8)
Christ concretely expressed this way of gratuitous self-giving in the new commandment he gave us that we have to love one another as he himself has loved us. It’s a love, a self-giving that is completely gratuitous without counting the cost or expecting any reward.
But given our human condition that is marked by our proneness to getting spoiled by any gift given to us, we have to make sure that we try our best to live by what God has intended our love to be—that it be given without counting the cost, without expecting any reward and that it should also arouse in us the same urge to give ourselves as a gift, without counting the cost or expecting any return.
In this way, we generate a world of pure love, of purely gratuitous self-giving that would be a true image of how our definitive state of life in heaven with God would be. Let us not allow ourselves to be frustrated in this endeavor by the usual problem that we ourselves make in this regard. Let us simply give and give, being generous, magnanimous, merciful, compassionate, since this kind of self-giving will in the end conquer all things, bear all things, endure all things.*