Monday, March 2, 2015

“When we face death with hope, we can live life with generosity.”

“Teach us to give and not to count the cost.” - Saint Ignatius Loyola

Gospel Text: (LK 6:36-38)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

The Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore once told a story about a beggar who was picking up grains of corn along the streets when the king approached in a golden carriage. Dumbfounded, the man hoped to receive riches. The king, however, held out his hand and asked the beggar what he had to give him! Confused and unsure of himself, the beggar took out the smallest grain of corn he had and handed it to the king. At the end of the day, when he emptied his bag, he was surprised to find a tiny grain of gold in the heap.

“I bitterly wept,” the beggar moans, “and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.” He regrets his “small-heartedness,” for it meant he was able to receive only a little in return.

Maybe we can relate: time is limited, money is tight, and our hearts are guarded. But God nevertheless asks us to open our hearts wide to our neighbors. He wants us to pass along the blessings we have received from him with the same generosity with which he first gave them to us. He tells us that if we give a little, we will receive a little in return. But if we give as much as we have received, we will be given even more. Our God is never outdone in generosity!

How is God holding out his hand to you?

Maybe he’s waiting to see you share your plate with the hungry or relieve someone’s loneliness or extend forgiveness. In all of these, we can imitate Jesus, who withheld nothing from his Father—and nothing from us.

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