Saturday, November 7, 2009

32d Sunday: "this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors"

1 Kings 17, 10-16; Psalm 146; Hebrews 9, 24-28; St. Mark 12, 38-44

Generosity from each, according to the capabilities of each, is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Whether one, like the widow, has a mere mite, or whether, like the Pharisees, perhaps much more, all should give not from their excess but from their want. Generosity is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity." (Galations 5:22-23.) (CCC 1832)

St. Paul's letter to the Philippians speaks of the generosity of the Christian community which should serve as an example for unbelievers. Those who are generous are laying up treasure in heaven.

It was kind of you to want to share in my hardships... Even when I was at Thessalonica you sent something for my needs, not once, but twice. It is not that I am eager for the gift; rather, my concern is for the ever-growing balance in your account... My God will supply your needs fully, in a way worthy of his magnificent riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 14, 16, 17,19.)

It is not money that people have difficulty in giving today. It is loving and unconditional acceptance for every human life that is wanting. Openness of married couples to new life by the shunning of artificial methods of birth regulation, loving and respectful acceptance for all pregnant women and mothers, financial assistance to women and children, furthering the cause of life by working to elect leaders who are friendly to life; all of these and more are the ways that we can be generous in an age of unprecedented stinginess with regard to human life. Let us be unambiguously pro-life in the midst of the cult of death.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Fr. Cusick

(See also paragraphs 678, 2444 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.)

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy (Publish with permission.)

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