Generous Awareness

It is clear in the familiar passage from Matthew 25 that the difference between the blessed and the chastened is a matter of awareness. The awareness that distinguishes them is not an awareness of the Lord’s presence, for neither group was aware of on the one hand serving the Lord and on the other failing to serve the Lord. Rather the differing awareness was that of recognizing and responding to the need of other human persons. To read today’s passage in the context of the entirety of Matthew 25 is to recognize that the whole chapter is a reflection on[read more]

Giving and Joy

For us it is very possible to read the words of Sirach today and to think that they are enjoining us to make sure to smile when we are making a contribution and to willfully make ourselves learn to enjoy giving away our possessions. It seems like a recognition of the experience that by nature we give begrudgingly, and so we must develop the habit of being joyful as we do so. Jesus, on the other hand, seems to say that when we are really giving away all we have and are, we experience the true joy of receiving so[read more]

Generosity and Love

Today’s reading from 1 John tells us that we are to love one another in the way that God has loved us. The nature of this love of God for us is seen and known, we are told, in God’s giving of Jesus, the very life of God, to us, “so that we might live through him.” God does not love us because we have loved God, but rather in pouring out God’s self to us “as atonement for our sins.” Love, according to the author of this letter, is not a contract; it is not a response to another[read more]

Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad

On that day it will be said: / “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! / This is the Lord for whom we looked, / let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!” / For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain. Isaiah 25: 9-10 The[read more]

Serving Worthily

“I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others  have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” Luke 21: 3-4 The older I get the more central to the gospel teaching the story of the poor widow[read more]

Becoming Holy In The Truth

“Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in the truth.” John 17:17-19 An alternate translation by Francis J. Maloney, S.D.B of Jesus’ first words above is: “Make them holy[read more]

An Abundance For Every Good Work

The Xaverian Fundamental Principles remind us that the heart of discipleship, of the call of Jesus to each of us, is to recognize that all is gift. The “secret” of life, from the Christian perspective is that our very life is a gift to us, and, because it is a gift, it is given to us that we might give it away.[read more]