Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sow Bountifully

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

[U]nless 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

Prayer to St. Lawrence,  Deacon and Martyr
O Generous patron of the Church’s poor, St. Lawrence, pray to the One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit that all the poor of the Church in need in every corner of the world may feel the effect of the love of their brothers and sisters who seek to help them. 

Deliver the Church from the greed and envy of the powerful and protect her rights and property so that she may serve the needy in freedom, giving them good things for soul and body. 

May we come some day with all those whom we helped on earth to the bright mansions of heaven where we will enjoy the riches of God’s house and the company of the Savior who lives and reigns forever and ever.  Amen

Be mercifully perfect like Our Father is merciful.

The behavior to which Jesus encourages his followers is rooted in God’s own behavior.  Never vengeful, always merciful.  Always loving.  Do as God does.  Do as God says. 

God is capable of overwhelming generosity, as scripture itself attests.  He gave us His son.  He forgives our sins.  He welcomes us home when we return.  God provides for us in abundance, both supplying our natural needs (for life-giving bread and water) and increasing our sense of moral and social justice as we love all others and walk in their shoes an extra mile. 

Paul challenges the people in Corinth to the be god-like in their generosity and reminds them of the fundamental motive for encouragement: God himself cannot be outdone.  Be it the image of the Prodigal Father awaiting the return of his wayward son or the widow who searches for the lost coin or the other widow who gives her last mite to the temple.  God wants nothing more than to save us.  He just needs us to want to be saved, too.

Jesus likewise issues a challenge.  Are you willing like the caterpillar to give up everything in order to really live like a butterfly?

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