Each moment is a gift; that's why we call it the present.
We would do well, then, to give each moment away. Instead of keeping it for ourselves, we should use the present to be present to others. We should use the present to present to others the presents that God has presented to us.
We shouldn't keep the gifts God has given to us for ourselves. We should willingly and freely give them back to God.
When we do this, we will come to experience that God is never outdone in giving.
When we give, God gives back in abundance. To God, 5 + 2 = more than 5,000.
It is the law of the gift.
I first came across the law of the gift a few years ago.
Simply, the law of the gift states that we can't out give God. The gifts we give to Him, much like the multiplication of the loaves and fish, get amplified in magnificent ways.
Similarly, much like the Paschal Mystery, we come to fullness of life as we give ourselves to God.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explained the law of the gift in this way: "One receives one’s life precisely when one gives it away" (Pope Benedict XVI, 2013).
His predecessor, St. Pope John Paul II, referred to the law of the gift often. Pulling from Gaudium et Spes, St. John Paul II would frequently teach that humans "cannot fully find (themselves) except through a sincere gift of (themselves)" (Second Vatican Council, 1965).
We become who we were created to be as we freely give ourselves to God.
"Whoever seeks to preserve (their) life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it" (Luke 17:33).
Or from today's readings:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. (John 12:24-25)
As the new school year begins, let us embrace the law of the gift and freely give ourselves to God and in turn in service to others.
Let us see our ministry within Catholic education as a participation in the saving mission of the Church and in building up the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
Let us give ourselves, our ministries, and our Catholic schools to the Lord, for it is in giving that we, and others, may truly receive.