September 20

 Reflection

Are you envious because I am generous?
Matthew 20:1-16

Envy cannot recognize the gifts of others and denies them respect. It cannot see clearly; its vision is blurred. This attitude cannot be part of us as those who profess to follow Jesus. To move beyond this, we need to see that life is  not about entitlement, to realize that it has never been about what we deserve.  We exist by gratuitous gift. We had no choice, nor did we do anything to earn our life or talents. In gratitude we work as best we can, as long as we can, preserving this earth, giving without expecting anything in return. Our giving is not measured in time spent but in the generosity with which we respond to the opportunities we have to heal this earth and help it to nurture all life.

Prayer

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
Ignatius of Loyola

 Action

Be willing to share, to give time, energy, and resources for the benefit and welfare of others. Recognize and be glad in the gifts of others. Work in any way you can for the common good. Be aware of areas of envy or greed in yourself.

Suggested Reading

My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.
Matthew 20:1-16a

Envy is a sadness which we feel on account of the good that happens to our neighbor.
St. John Vianney

Generosity is about giving without a guaranteed return — it is about the ‘giveaway.’ I believe that the true moral path of the twenty-first century will be very different from the path of the modern era because it will be marked by generosity.
Matthew Fox

Make extravagant generosity your greatest vice and become God-like.
Edward Hays

To be rich in admiration and free from envy, to rejoice greatly in the good of others, to love with such generosity of heart that your love is still a dear possession in absence or unkindness – these are the gifts which money cannot buy.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.
Buddah

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.
Harold Coffin

Fortunate is he who does not carry envy as a companion.
Rumi

True generosity is an offering; given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations. Time and love are the most valuable possession you can share.
Suze Orman

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pike

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.
Mahatma Ghandi

Giving is a miracle that can transform the heaviest of hearts. Two people, who moments before lived in separate worlds of private concerns, suddenly meet each other over a simple act of sharing. The world expands, a moment of goodness is created, and something new comes into being where before there was nothing. . . . But true giving is not an economic exchange; it is a generative act. It does not subtract from what we have; it multiples the effect we can have in the world.
Kent Nerburn

Note

Yesterday this nation reached the tragic milestone of 200,000 people dead from Covid 19. We acknowledge each of them as a parent, child, relative, friend, lost. We join our sorrow with the sorrow of those who mourn them. We will remember them and the terrible toll this disease has taken on this country.

 

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