The theme of charity is made quite clear in today's reading both in Kings and in Matthew's Gospel. The childless woman who serves Elisha is promised a baby in the upcoming year and Jesus makes three separate statements about charity in referencing those who receive him, those who receive a prophet and those who receive a righteous man. His final statement is in reference to the little ones and providing a cup of cold water.
True charity comes from a heart infected with the love of God. It cannot come from a cold distant look and avoidance of what is in front of us. Charity is not natural for many. It is easy to click and send giving to a favorite organization with out much thought as it is to field a call from a university which has served one or a family well.
For many years I was a cold hearted individual not realizing my own brokenness nor seeing those on the fringes of society. Through a variety of life changes, God's infinite mercy, and much prayer I came to see that the cup of water offered to the little ones was more than just children, it is meant also for those weak from other afflictions. The significance of cold water is more than a refreshing drink, it can be helping hand or a glance into the eyes of one of those afflicted and on the margins.