Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Commentary for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time by Sr. Kathleen Yeadon, OSB

John 6:1-16

Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?
Last week it was about compassion, this week it is about generosity.

I was taught to be generous early on in my life. It was almost a mortal sin not to be generous in our family. We began going on Spring break trips somewhere around my 12th year. All who could—seventh grade on up needed to give money for gas and then be expected to treat the family one day to ice cream. You could match up with another person if you didn’t have adequate funds. Anyways, it was an honor to be the one who treated that day. After an afternoon at the beach, we always stopped for ice cream. On the last day, we stopped for hot dogs and that was my dad’s treat. He made more money. Also, on these long trips to Florida, Colorado and once to California, we would buy bags of candy always with the idea of sharing.

When I begin living at Covenant House, we received a $12 a week stipend. Living in New York and Houston created a challenge on how to live so frugally. In Central America, we cut it down to $6 a week so to be more like the people we worked with in those countries. No matter how much money I had, there was always the initial fear of not having enough. Then I reminded myself that God provides and to keep a generous heart.

I think that is the test. Can we live with generous hearts with money, time and resources?
The Gospel tells us to give and let God multiply what little is given. In our world that loves to capitalize on fear, we have to keep generous hearts and willingness to trust.

Tomorrow we will witness the fidelity of Sr. Mary Sylvester to the monastic life. I am sure there were times when her generosity was tested. Here she is –still giving her heart and life to God and us.

The suscipe is about trust and generosity. As we pray it tomorrow, let us renew our commitment to be generous with all of our lives.

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