Giving

All About Grace – Second Reading in Preparation for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

All About Grace – Second Reading in Preparation for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is not just that in Christ they have received an example to emulate; it is that in Christ they have received God himself, pouring himself out to and for people so that they might be near him and have life in him. Having received this incomparable grace, they are called to become sources of it through their own self-giving in the world around them, in order that others, too, might have that life.

And in so doing, they not only give themselves to the world around them, but they give the One who is in them and acts through them.

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Sowing Love Prodigally – Gospel Reading for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sowing Love Prodigally – Gospel Reading for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Augustine says, “If you see charity, you see the Trinity” and St. John tells us in his first letter that “he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (4:16). There is mysterious truth that is proven over and over again in the lives of the saints that only those people give themselves away in love as prodigally as the sower in the parable—however costly the seed—come to experience the love, hope and New Life offered them in Christ. They not only come to mirror the love of God to their neighbor, but actually become that love. They partake in the very life of God who is, himself, Love and is eternally giving.

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A Fragrant Life – John 12

A Fragrant Life – John 12

Mary is certainly, by anticipation, the first Easter Person, the person we are all meant to be, the person whose great gratitude overflows daily in extravagant acts of love for our Lord, the beauty of which “fill the house with their fragrance.” May the beauty of her example inspire us and may our lives be likewise filled with exuberant, extravagant, and fragrant acts of love for Jesus.

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The Spirit of Sacrifice – Luke 21

The Spirit of Sacrifice – Luke 21

…sincere gratitude is expressed only with great difficulty. “Giving does not begin to be real giving until it hurts”. In Luke 21 we encounter the story of the poor woman who Jesus witnesses giving her last two groats in the temple. She gave these two pennies after two men had given a great bounty. Jesus observed to the men that although the woman had given less money, she had given more, because she had given of herself, she had given all that she had.

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An Extravagant Gift of Love – Luke 19

An Extravagant Gift of Love – Luke 19

In such a context, there can be no doubt that the crowds that met Jesus on his way into Jericho were intended to guide him to a banquet that had been prepared for him by the most highly esteemed members of society. But Luke gives us the clear impression that he was not impressed by their pomp and circumstance. He was passing through (v. 1). He did not stay for whatever festivities they had prepared in his honor.

Only one thing made him change his mind. The skeevy little man hiding up in the sycamore tree Jesus came across on his way out of town. He was a man despised by all for his treacherous collaboration with the occupying forces, but Jesus called him by name and invited himself to Zacchaeus house.

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Inexorably Aimed Toward Jerusalem – Luke 18

Inexorably Aimed Toward Jerusalem – Luke 18

If, then, following Jesus is the more demanding command, why order the rich man sell and give? Because this was the concrete incarnate way this particular man was to follow Jesus; it was his particular cross. Paul says of the meaning of the Cross: “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich”(II Cor. 8:9) Isn’t that what he asked of this man? Isn’t that what he asks of us, each in our own way?

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Costly Love – Luke 10

Costly Love – Luke 10

Notably, all of this comes at an enormous expense to the Samaritan—in terms of time, resources, energy, and money (he pays for the man to stay at least two weeks in the inn, and promises to pay more, if needed). But it also comes at a high price of his safety. As a Samaritan taking a wounded Jew on the back of his animal into a Jewish town, he would have run a very high risk of retaliatory violence, whether or not he had saved the man’s life…there was a very high risk that he would not come out of that town alive.

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Giving Out of Our Poverty – Luke 9

Giving Out of Our Poverty – Luke 9

But that is precisely the point. God asks us to give the little that we have for precisely the same reason that he commands us to take up our cross and follow him—because life cannot be jealously guarded without eventually withering away; it is meant to be given away because it is a gift. When we jealously guard our life and our resources, we cut ourselves off from the source of life itself, God.

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