Give and it will be given to you.
‘What goes around, comes around, though not necessarily back from the same people.’ So said my brother and his wife after they had been through a particularly challenging period. They had gone bankrupt and were on the road with their family, taking work where it was available. At that time, they met with great kindness from the poor in the caravan parks of the east coast of Australia. Oh yes, there were challenging people there but they are not the ones they focused on. My brother and his wife also gave, and continue to do so for they know that giving generously and freely without thinking of return is what makes us into a community; it is also what makes us fully human.
Next Sunday’s Gospel is the particularly challenging text when Jesus tells us to love and to give without any thought of return. We are to be like God giving without any expectation of getting back what we have given. That is hard for us. We want to make sure ‘number 1’ is protected and not cheated. But to come to real happiness and peace, we need that revolution of the heart and soul that gives out instead of taking for oneself.
The amazing thing about living that way, is that we become alive to all the myriad ways in which we are already receiving from God and others. What we thought we were giving away, it only a generous gift that has already come our way. Instead of being solitary beings protecting ourselves and our things are all cost, we find we are part of the generous community of life.
Loving God, let me appreciate all that I have received from you and from others and then let me give generously with a light and happy heart. I ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb