Why Be Generous

March 18th, 2015 Posted in writing

This Lent, like every other Lent, the Church encourages us to be generous and kind towards others, reminding us of the obligation to give alms to the needy. After all, we are all brothers and sisters and are all together in this thing we call life. We are all connected to one another, so we should help each other. John Donne’s famous poem put it well: No man (or woman) is an island.

But a few weeks ago I came across one of the Lenten Mass prayers that asked that God help us be kind and generous to those in need not just because were are God’s family, but so that we might better imitate God’s own kindness and generosity. When we we share with others, we are doing what God does. And, as Jesus reminds us, God is always generous and kind to us whether we are good or bad, deserving or undeserving.

To share our money, our time, our encouragement or our concern with those in need imitates God’s own kindness. Yes, our alms and kindness are based on the fact that we are all one family. But they’re also deeply rooted in the fact that we’re created to resemble God, as Genesis tells us.

Of course, imitating God seems like a tall order, but maybe it’s not as out-of-reach as it seems. For, with God’s help, all of us can work at being more kind and generous — not just in Lent but during the whole year.

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