A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, August 29, 2004

How to be

Today’s readings give very strong reminders about the need for humility: very important for us to consider and remember in this world of “getting ahead” and “looking out for number one.” Whatever slight advantages we might be able to gain among ourselves fail into laughable insignificance when compared to the glory of God and the power of his grace. We can focus on ourselves all we want, but it will never get us anywhere as far as we can be if we focus on the things of God.

What might be lost as we hear today’s readings is what our Lord says at the end of today’s Gospel, in which he speaks not so much of humility as of generosity. Generosity is truly one of the very important things of God upon which we should be focusing. God has been and continues to be very generous with us (although we may not always recognize it) and God calls us to be generous in return, as we hear in today’s Gospel.

Today’s Gospel, however, speaks of a very special kind of generosity. It is not the remote-control generosity of writing a check or helping some organization (although those things are important). It is an “up-close and personal” generosity: literally inviting to lunches, dinners, and banquets people who are poor, disabled, dirty, smelly, clumsy, ignorant, foreign, or whatever.

The point here is not necessarily to change your dining habits. The point is that it is one thing to write a check to help some generic, anonymous needy person, but quite another to give also of your time and of your comfort zone: to take the time to be with these people, to look them in the eye, to shake them by the hand, and to help them with what they need.

Be humble. Be generous. Be present. Be like Christ.