Sirach 35:1-12; PS 50 To the upright I will show the saving power of God; Mark 10:28-31
"Ina generous spirit pay homage to the LORD, be not sparing of freewill gifts. With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, pay your tithes in a spirit of Joy. Give to the most high as he has given to you, generously, according to your means."
Think about people you consider to be generous.
Why do we classify them as being generous?
Think about people who give a lot of money and yet we don't classify them as generous?
Why do we not?
Generosity is more than the ability to give, it also revolves around having an attitude of a giver, one that is joyful and filled with cheer.
Someone can give and still be stingy of heart. But those that give and remain joyful in letting go and giving to another, these are the ones that true show forth the face of God.
Generous person gives more than is necessary; a generous person never says, I have done enough. A generous person just simply seeks to return the favor of having been given life in the first place.
As the first reading reminds us, we are called to be this way, "be not sparing of freewill gifts."
Be not sparing, in other words, don't hold back.
Where in our life do we hold back? Where can we be more giving?
We like generous people, we can tell them by the smile on their face and the joy in their eyes.
Not sparingly, cheerful, joy: these are the words used to describe a generous soul. It is time to take inventory in our life?
Are we generous? Do we give? Do we hold back? Do we emulate the Father who gives from all eternity?
OR are we like the Apostles who in the gospel who have been keeping "Score" so to speak in listing all that have done, "Lord, we have given everything and followed you." I sense a little bit of hardness the words of the apostles, a little bit of entitlement in their response to JEsus.
THis is why JEsus says many who are first will be last and the last will be first. Giving up everything isn't the same as giving over everything. The generous soul is the one who does the latter not the former. May we learn to give it over as well.