Generosity unleashes blessings: A homily for the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

Generosity unleashes blessings – that, it seems to me, is the theme of our readings today

We can be tempted to think sometimes that, if we are generous, in the long run we might get hurt – that God won’t take care of us. But the truth is, God will always bring blessings from our generosity.

Look at the widow in Zarephath in our first reading. There she is, with just enough food for one more meal for her and her son. Then comes Elijah the prophet who says, “Make me a meal.” Imagine the nerve! We’d be offended, wouldn’t we. She says, “I have nothing left – just enough for one more meal for my son and me.” He repeats his request. And she has a choice: will I be generous or not? She chooses to be generous. As a consequence, the scripture says, “her jar of flour did not go empty, not the jug of oil run dry.” Her generosity unleashed blessings – for Elijah, and for her and her son.

When I was in the seminary, a parish not too far away called me up to come give a talk to their Sunday school kids. I went. I got a $200 speeding ticket. I thought, “I’ll never do this again.” Three I was, trying to be generous, and it ended up costing me. Then, the next day, I got a check for $500 from the Knights of Columbus. God will always bless our generosity.

So I’ve been thinking about folks here. Mrs. Settles gave me a dog almost four years ago, Sr. Glory. Do you know how many blessings that dog has brought to me? to families who come for grief counseling or funeral planning? To the kids at recess? to Mrs. Disser’s dogs? All this, because Mrs. Settles was generous. Generosity always unleashes blessings.

What about those who do ministries around here? There are many. Our catechists, musicians, SVDP volunteers, so many more – you are all so generous. The blessings that follow your service are unimaginable and everlasting. Generosity always unleashes INMCREDIBLE, life-changing, life-saving blessings.

I remember one woman talking to me after a Mass a few years ago. She wanted a Mass intention for her deceased relative. She didn’t realize the Mass intention is $10, so she said she would come back. It took her a few days. She finally came back and said it just took her a while to come up with the money. I told her I would have just given her the money. She said, “No, I want to do it myself for my father.” Her act of generosity might just have gotten her mother out of father. Generosity always unleashes blessings.

I think about our adorers in the chapel, folks who give an hour even though they probably think sometimes, “I’m too busy for this.” But God answers our prayers. The prayers, the holy hours that we do – they unleash blessings.

Today begins National Vocation Awareness week. We pray for a generous increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life, from this parish and from our families. I think about the priests I had growing up. They helped make me who I am. Their generosity in giving up their lives – it unleashed countless blessings…blessings that have transformed and saved lives

We call GREED a deadly sin – it has a way of making us less than human, this desire for more and more. But GENEROSIY is the likely virtue opposed to it. GENERSOTIY makes us more alive, the people we touch more alive, the church more alive. Think about the people who have been generous to you..the life that hasgiven you We see GENEROSITY o the Cross. Jesus gives us his life.

What, giving again, I said in dismay—

It seems I just keep giving and giving and giving away

O no, said the angel piercing me through

Just give until God stops giving to you