Having become steeped in the life of Eugene de Mazenod and how he gave his all to God, to his people in Marseilles, and indeed to all of France and out into the world, and how he continues to give his all through his writings to his sons and daughters, I found myself yesterday looking at his life and my own as the Gospel (Mark 12.38-44) was read telling us the story of the widow who gave her all – all that she had to live on. Our pastor in his homily asked us to look at ourselves and ask what we might be holding back.
What am I holding back I asked myself? Of course I have kept some money to pay the rent and buy food. Even some extra to buy a new book that I want to read. But I don’t think that’s exactly what he was asking about. I am a generous person – so what am I holding back?
My love, my giving of myself in love to my brothers and sisters, to those I work with, to my friends and family, to those I know and to those I don’t know who have so much less than I, less that what I’ve been given. How much and of what am I holding back, saving for that rainy day – just in case….
I know of a person who was incredibly poor growing up, and hungry all of the time and who almost stock piles food – just so that he won’t have to ever be hungry again. Do I do that? What do I stockpile and have more than enough that I seem to hold onto. What about that which is inside of me. Do I hold back on my love? On my trust of others? Just in case I am betrayed or slighted and want to feel good in myself? Do I hold back on the joy in all of life that God has so richly blessed me with? Could I not be a little more open and share all of that?
It will not be in great big ways that I do this, that I let go and simply love – it will be in the little daily ways of my life. If I am slighted or put down I will continue to stand in life and joy, to ‘turn the other cheek’ so to speak. Because if I look at it – God simply continues to fill and refill, and renew me constantly so I can hardly give it all away. There will never not be enough.
Most loving God, bless me with courage and daring – to give it all for you.