Abundance or Scarcity?

It’s an often asked question of people, are you an optimist or pessimist? If we are living as God calls us, then our answer is hopefully, optimist. We have a God of abundance, not scarcity.

What does the Bible say?

I’m going to focus on two passages. From the Old Testament we have the story of manna in the desert, Exodus 16. God gave this food for the people to eat, enough for a day to teach them to trust and rely on him. However, he didn’t give them a small amount, he allowed them to take as much as they wanted as long as they didn’t save it. God provides in abundance for today! And then, in the New Testament is the multiplication of the loaves and fish from Matthew, 15:32-38. The disciples show a bit of hesitancy that they can feed all of these people gathered. But Jesus has none. He takes what is provided, and multiplies is so that there is enough with leftovers.

What does this mean?

God provides us with what we need, when we need it. Jesus shows us time and again with his life that we have been given what we need to live. Whenever we think we have a scarcity, offer that bit to God and see what happens.

Who do we live?

I think we live as if we have all that we need. So give away your time, your good deeds. Stop saving things for a special time and use them to care fort hose you love.  Shift from thinking I need more or what if I need it later to God will provide and whatever I use up or give away will come back to me at the right time.

This week, focus on living abundantly. List all the gifts God has given you and find a way to share them with others, knowing Goad will provide for tomorrow.

Joy in Difficult Times

A Prayer

O holy St. Philip Neri, patron saint of joy,
you who trusted scripture’s promise that the Lord is always at hand 
and that we need not have anxiety about anything,
in your compassion heal our worries and sorrows
and lift the burdens from our hearts.
We come to you as one whose heart swells
with abundant love for God and all creation.
Hear us, we pray, especially in this need (make your request here).

Keep us safe through your loving intercession and may the joy of the Holy Spirit which filled your heart, St. Philip, transform our lives and bring us peace. Amen

Joy is not happiness

Joy is something deeper and more lasting. Even when an activity is over when you feel contentment or consolation, that is joy, as St. Ignatius points out.  Focusing on the long term goal of heaven and not on the little things that annoy us can help us have joy. Yes, there are difficulties in life, but if we allow ourselves to focus only on those, we will sink into the muck of our emotions.

Where to look

Look to the cross. It is an example of focusing on the joy that is to come. But remember because of Christ’s death and resurrection we can have that joy now, in this life. I’m certain our joy in heaven will be far greater than any we experience here on earth, but we can still have joy. That is the gift we have from God.

When you are feeling less than full of joy, pray the prayer of St. Philip Neri and ask him to intercede for you.

 

 

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