Posted by: frburke23 | August 9, 2012

Thought for August 10 – Feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr

2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

======================================

Today is the feast day of St. Lawrence, who was a deacon and martyr.  He gave everything for the Lord, even his earthly life.  But as we hear in this reading from St. Paul to the Corinthians, we believe St. Lawrence is reaping bountifully in heaven what he sowed so generously here on earth.

St. Paul is telling the Corinthians that we receive what we give.  If we give sparingly, we will receive very little.  But if we give freely and generously, we will also receive incredible gifts from the Lord.

Now when I talk about this, many people immediately think St. Paul is speaking about money.  Although this is part of our stewardship, we also must be generous with our time and talent.  What are examples of this?

1)     Do I sacrifice what I want to do in order to help others?  I can serve at a food pantry or homeless shelter.  I can tutor someone who needs help learning a language or other subject.  I can visit the hospitalized or imprisoned.

2)    Do I share my talents with the Church and community?  Can I be a lector or musician at Church?  Is the Lord calling me to be an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion?  Can I visit the homebound and bring them Communion?  Can I volunteer as a catechist or just help out at the parish office?

3)    Do I share my material gifts with others?  Scripture mentions that we should tithe 10% of what we earn to the Lord.  This can be challenging during this difficult economic time, but it is when our faith and trust is most tested.  Can I still be generous with what God has given me when I’m not sure if there will be more coming my way?  Do I trust that God will provide for my every need?

Then St. Paul says that we should give without feeling obligated and without sadness.  God loves a cheerful giver.  If it kills us every time that we write a check or volunteer our time, we are missing the whole point of this.  Everything that we have has come from the Lord.  Everything, in one or another, should return to the Lord.  Am I a good steward of the gifts God has given me?

We are all connected in this mission of Jesus Christ.  If some of us don’t do our part, the mission of the Lord might not happen.  God’s will will be done in the end.  However, imagine our world if everyone shared their wealth, resources, time and talent with their neighbor.  There would be no starving children.  There would be no violence or war.  Heaven would be realized here on earth.  That is the mission. 

Am I doing my part to provide seed to the Sower?  If so, the Lord will multiply your offerings more than you can possibly imagine.

Have a blessed day,

Fr. Burke

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