Monday, May 27, 2013

May Your Generous Spirit Pay Homage

May Your Generous Spirit Pay Homage

May 28, 2013
Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

In a generous spirit pay homage to the LORD, be not sparing of freewill gifts. With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.
For the LORD is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold. (Sirach 35:10-13)

Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now … But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”  (Mark 10:29-30, 31)


May you be blessed forever, Lord, for not abandoning me when I abandoned you.
May you be blessed forever, Lord, for offering your hand of love in my darkest, most lonely moment.
May you be blessed forever, Lord, for putting up with such a stubborn soul as mine.
May you be blessed forever, Lord, for loving me more than I love myself.
May you be blessed forever, Lord, for continuing to pour out Your blessings upon me, even though I respond so poorly.
May you be blessed forever, Lord, for drawing out the goodness in all people, even including me.
May you be blessed forever, Lord, for repaying our sin with your love.
May you be blessed forever, Lord, for being constant and unchanging, admidst all the changes of the world.
May you be blessed forever, Lord, for your countless blessings on me and on all your creatures.
  ~ St. Teresa of Avila


Don’t you enjoy people who have a truly generous spirit?  There is my friend who drops off flowers when I have had a bad week.  The colleague who delighted in finding a treasure in her favorite thrift shop and brbrought it to me saying “I thought of you when I saw this.”  The neighbor, who while you are standing at the bus stop, picks you up and drives you to work and then offers to make this a daily occurrence because he heads that way anyway. 

But some generosity makes me uncomfortable.  My mother, for example, wants always to give me some food to bring home.  Or my husband’s dear Godmother, Aunt Micki, who (until we were well into adulthood) would press a $5.00 bill into our hands as we hugged good-bye. “Just for any unexpected expenses, dear.”  They give even though both have tight budgets and it makes me feel as if I should not accept rather than be truly grateful for such heartfelt thoughtfulness.

Of course there is generosity with strings attached.  We see all too much of it in the world, generosity not of heart but of power, control, manipulation or even to embarrass.  This is not a generosity of God.  God’s generosity is unlimited, unimaginable.  Rather that generosity with strings attached, God generously created us, man and woman, with strings attached to our hearts.  Those strings pull us ever closer to God.  Our starting place is God and we are incomplete without God -- strings which call for us to place our face, our feet our mind, our hearts toward God.  God, who is Love.  God’s generosity is beyond my ability to fathom but it is vital to my being fully human and holy.  God’s generosity gives me life and direction.


In what ways do I lack in the gratitude which propels generosity?  Give thanks for blessings.  Give thanks for God’s presence in times of trouble or doubt.  Give thanks for the world God gave us.  Let our thanks sink deep into our hearts and share it out with others.

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