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October 08, 2020

Lk 11: 5-13

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 

I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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.

Savoring and Practicing Generosity 

Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP, recalls from his childhood in Lima, Peru that if his father—a day laborer—found work, he would spend his wages on ice cream for his children, an especially rare treat. Fr. Gutiérrez’s mother would complain that this income would go much farther if spent on staple goods like corn, rice, or beans. But Fr. Gutiérrez insists, “This is how God is with us. He does not give us just what we need; God’s love is gratuitous.”  

God delights in us and in what delights us. Today’s Gospel gives us the opportunity to look for God’s generosity at work in our life. Especially in these uncertain and trying times, it is consoling to know that God will not be stingy with us. And God hopes that we will extend this generosity to others, especially those in greatest need.

Generosity isn’t reducible to making a donation. Generosity means presuming good intent from others. It means stretching our empathy muscles to be more expansive and inclusive. We can speak more graciously (is it true? is it kind? is it necessary?) and less critically. We can always find ways to love ever-more-extravagantly. The more we practice generosity, the more we become like God.  

Marcus Mescher is associate professor of Christian ethics at Xavier University in Cincinnati, a graduate of Marquette University High School, Marquette University, and Boston College; he is also the author of The Ethics of Encounter: Christian Neighbor Love as a Practice of Solidarity (Orbis, 2020).  

 

Prayer

Christ has no body now but yours. 
No hands, no feet on earth but yours. 
Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. 
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. 
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. 
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. 
Christ has no body now on earth but yours. 

St. Teresa of Ávila  


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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October 08, 2020

Lk 11: 5-13

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 

I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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.

Savoring and Practicing Generosity 

Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP, recalls from his childhood in Lima, Peru that if his father—a day laborer—found work, he would spend his wages on ice cream for his children, an especially rare treat. Fr. Gutiérrez’s mother would complain that this income would go much farther if spent on staple goods like corn, rice, or beans. But Fr. Gutiérrez insists, “This is how God is with us. He does not give us just what we need; God’s love is gratuitous.”  

God delights in us and in what delights us. Today’s Gospel gives us the opportunity to look for God’s generosity at work in our life. Especially in these uncertain and trying times, it is consoling to know that God will not be stingy with us. And God hopes that we will extend this generosity to others, especially those in greatest need.

Generosity isn’t reducible to making a donation. Generosity means presuming good intent from others. It means stretching our empathy muscles to be more expansive and inclusive. We can speak more graciously (is it true? is it kind? is it necessary?) and less critically. We can always find ways to love ever-more-extravagantly. The more we practice generosity, the more we become like God.  

Marcus Mescher is associate professor of Christian ethics at Xavier University in Cincinnati, a graduate of Marquette University High School, Marquette University, and Boston College; he is also the author of The Ethics of Encounter: Christian Neighbor Love as a Practice of Solidarity (Orbis, 2020).  

 

Prayer

Christ has no body now but yours. 
No hands, no feet on earth but yours. 
Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. 
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. 
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. 
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. 
Christ has no body now on earth but yours. 

St. Teresa of Ávila  


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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