2018.12.16 Homily

There is a fairy tale, that I dimly remember from my childhood.

There was a rich baron or duke or something like that. And he was constantly throwing parties and feasts. At those parties, he’d have a little too much to drink, and order that the excess food be brought to all the beggars in the town. Anyone in that town never lacked for anything, because the generous lord was so free with his wealth.

I can’t remember the specifics of the rest of the story, but he loses everything in some tragedy, and all the people he was generous with took him in and cared for him in his old age.

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We are reminded today in our Gospels and readings that we have much reason to rejoice! To be joyful, and draw happiness from the goodness of our God.

But not a selfish joy, not a self-centered happiness.

Instead:

A joy that is generous, a happiness that overflows.

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It’s the joy Jesus showed us, giving so much: healings, miracles, and then his death and resurrection to free us from sin and give us new life.

If joy is not the root of our generosity, then it will be a hollow charity, a weak philanthropy.

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To be a tightwad, is not a Christian virtue.

A penny saved is a penny earned, this is not a Catholic saying.

It would be better put: if you have two pennies, give one to your neighbor who has none.

We must not let any fear, hold us back from generosity.

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Find joy in God, and overflowing generosity will be the natural outcome

How do we do that?

A life of prayer.

A life of sacrifice.

A life of study.

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Then we will have joy, because we are living dependent on God.

And then we will be generous, and when we die, we will be welcomed into heaven, by those we helped in this life.

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