I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I am very unacquainted with St. Paul’s “secret of going hungry.” How do I come to know it better, without starving myself? I know something of it by visiting the poor, though the first thing they always want to do is feed me! How readily they share! Is there something of Saint Paul’s “secret” in the humiliation of accepting their generosity?
Perhaps my “secret” lies in being as willing to receive generosity as to offer it? Though not materially poor, I can plumb the depths of my own scarcity. I can be willing to ask help from others when I can’t find the right words, can only pretend to know, or lack the courage to do what must be done. The secret of my own neediness must be laid bare so, like St. Paul, I can show myself and others what it means to trust in Christ, in every circumstance.
—Fr. Mark Mossa, SJ, is the Director of Campus Ministry at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL.
Lord, teach me to humbly receive the generosity of others. Help me to recognize my own neediness and dependency. Help me to recognize that what I am hungry for most of all is to trust in you. Help me to be aware of the richness and the limits of the gifts and talents that you have given me, so that I can better appreciate and use those of others. Give me the courage to ask them for the help that I need, instead of stubbornly pretending to have it all together. And grant that I might know the hunger of seeking the abundance that only you can provide.
—Fr. Mark Mossa, SJ