Saturday, June 27, 2015

Of Abundance

By Melanie Rigney

God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, and there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the netherworld on earth, for justice is undying. (Wisdom 1:13-15)

I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.  (Psalm 30:2a)

… As a matter of equality, your abundance at the present time should supply their needs, so that their abundance may also supply your needs, so that there may be equality. (2 Corinthians 8:14)

(Jesus) took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded.  (Mark 5:41-42)

Lord, open my heart, mind, and soul to sharing all I have and receiving all You discern I need.

When we pray over and contemplate today’s second reading from 2 Corinthians, there’s a temptation to take it literally. It’s easy to leave the lesson at face value: Those who are blessed with financial wealth should share it with the homeless, the hungry, the destitute, those who live on society’s margins. We give to our parish via envelope or electronically, we answer the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal, we drop off gently used clothing at the shelter, and we provide cans and boxes and bottles for the food pantry—and call it good.

An Allegory of Abundance
by Hendrick van Balen the Elder and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
But there are other kinds of abundance: abundance of joy. Abundance of laughter. Abundance of faith. Abundance of love. Abundance of confidence. Abundance of sorrow. Abundance of doubt. Abundance of compassion. We’re called to share those gifts as well… and to unstiffen our neck and accept from others when we in turn have needs.

Let me tell you a little story. Ten years ago when I was finding my way back to faith and the Catholic Church, a dozen people (at the time, I failed to see the significance of that number) popped into my life at one critical point or another. Some are still good friends and confidantes; others are not.  One of the latter shared with me the story of a marriage that had disintegrated beyond repair… and a faith and trust in the Lord that at times was all she had during that period. When I told her later about the impact she had had on my faith journey, she laughed and shook her head. At that particular juncture, she said, she had been bone-dry spiritually. She was both shocked and delighted to hear Christ had reflected Himself through her, sharing an abundance she had not realized she had.

We all know someone who needs something large or small—right now. It might be a window air conditioner or a pair of sandals or a listening ear or a walk to take us out of ourselves or simply a hug. In the same way, we all need something—right now. The Lord provides for us all. We are never alone. But more often than not, He provides through our family, friends, acquaintances, total strangers. May we let His great love, in whatever form it takes, be the Great Equalizer.

Say yes today to someone’s offer to share his or her abundance—financial, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual.

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