BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.
Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……
Now from the depth of your heart begin to wish your mind well……….
Take a moment. Bless your day. Let your day Bless you……Take another moment. Bless your world. Let your world bless you……
Prayerfully, reflectively read the following……Dwell on the thoughts that speak to you in this moment……
God’s Abundance – Simple abundance
Abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives. When we choose not to focus on what is missing, but on the abundance that is present – love, health, family, friends, work, the wasteland of misery falls away and we experience daily joy.
In the beginning of the Bible, we meet man and woman living in a land of abundance in total communion with God, with themselves and nature Genesis (2:7-9, 3:1-7). In the midst of such abundance of grace, they faced testing times and failed to be true to what God made them to be and lost their sense of God and of themselves as God’s special creatures made in His image.
Listen to the call of Grace…to Gods’ abundance!
OR to the temptations in a land of God’s abundance!
The author of the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 9:1-6) personifies wisdom as a lady and speaks of wisdom, after having built her house, inviting everyone to share the abundance…rich food, choice wines, etc. and (9:13-18) “folly” as a harlot who also invites everyone to feed on stolen food and drink. What Wisdom offers brings life and what Folly offers brings death.
Listen to the call of wisdom…..to the riches and abundance of God’s Wisdom!
OR to the call of folly, to the unreal!
Paul encouraged the Corinthian community to be generous with all of God’s gifts as a sign of gratitude and confidence in God’s watchful care (2 Corinthians 9:6-10). Generosity will become fruitful in abundance. God will provide in abundance…generosity will be enriched in every way…be joyful in giving!
Be gracious and joyful in giving! Let your giving be a sign of gratitude! Give from the heart of abundance! Have a big heart!
Paul taught the Corinthians and teaches us today that we are earthen vessels holding the glory of God and this is God’s gift to us (2 Corinthians 4:7-15). This glory is being revealed through us, frail, weak, human beings through the power of Jesus living in us. The Grace given to us in abundance brings glory to God in spite of our frailty.
Be grateful! Grace in abundance has been poured into your heart!
Give from the heart of abundance! Have a big heart!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled…….there are many dwelling places in my father’s house…….. (John 14:1-6)
This is one of the most encouraging passages in the Gospels. It is comforting and freeing to know that there is abundance in heaven, that there is room for all in the Father’s house. We are used to overcrowded buses, trains, streets, hotels and houses. We are used to accommodations being limited. In the heavenly Father’s house there is room for all, there is room for all in the heart of God.
Listen to the call of Grace…to Gods’ abundance!
There is no limit to God’s Grace in forgiveness, in healing, in transformation…in Love!
Most of us know the Gospel story of the poor widow putting in two of the smallest coins, available in her country at the time, into collection box of the temple treasury. Jesus remarked that her gift was more than what many rich people had given, since she gave all that she had to live on. I have heard many thoughts on this story which are all inspiring and challenging:
- It is not the size of the gift that matters, but what it costs you.
- There are no gifts that are too small, without value.
- Even our small gifts are important. They do make a difference.
Jesus was very critical of the practices of the Scribes. They were educated men who had become selfish, unethical and hypocritical. Jesus spoke about the scribes, who had legal charge of widows’ estates after the death of their husbands, since women could not hold property themselves. He talks about the scribes taking advantage of their position, their authority over the widows, and using it for personal gain, by taking portions of the widows’ property for themselves. They prayed in public, saying long-winded prayers to God, wearing prayer-shawls and making an impression of being faithful Jews.
Jesus was sitting opposite the treasury at the temple. He saw many rich people putting in large sums of money, and then a poor widow putting in two small copper coins – like a penny or two in our terms. He called his disciples and gave this poor widow as an example to follow. The rich gave out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty had put in everything she had, all she had to live on. What Jesus praised was not the amount of money that she gave, but the person that she was – she was, benevolent, generous and self-sacrificing….had a heart of abundance!
The widow’s small gift was an abundant offering…..came from a heart of abundance. Her way of giving – giving such a huge chunk of what she had – is the practice that Jesus offered the disciples as an example. She gave for God’s purpose to maintain God’s house, without questioning, with generosity, giving the last two cents for God’s purposes.
The Gospels of John and Mathew tell us a wonderful story of compassion, of simplicity, of abundance, of generosity, of sharing, of giving, of trusting……a story that carries much for us (John 6:1-15 and Mathew 14:13-21). Jesus, who continued to feed those who followed him with God’s truth, became aware of their physical hunger and he attended to that need as well. He showed that it was important to recognize and meet those urgent needs.
Jesus cared for the whole person and called his disciples to do the same. The physical hunger became a channel of recognizing the deeper hunger for God, for truth, for justice, for love….and much more.
Jesus called the disciples to feed the hungry with whatever was available and showed that there is always abundance in giving and sharing. Five loaves and two fish go a long way in meeting urgent needs.
There was not only enough for all, but there was enough left over to fill twelve wicker baskets….there was an overflowing, “my cup is overflowing”, an abundance, simple abundance, God’s abundance…………
Those who are fed and filled are charged to feed and fill others…….
Our Sacred Scriptures proclaim the greatness of our God, the abundance of his love, the generosity of his heart and compassion that flows from a heart of Love.
Let us choose to be grateful and joyful and generous with the abundance that is available to us and not be discontent and looking for more and better. Let us be mindful of those who are less fortunate than we are, rethink our needs, downsize our appetites, share with the hungry and the needy and share from the abundance we have received, food for the body as well as food for the spirit
Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs