Today we hear from St John Cassian in A Year with the Church Fathers. He tells us about how we should treat those who “don’t deserve it”.
Now, St John is talking about giving alms to the lazy or the immoral. But it really permeates our whole lives, doesn’t it? How do we treat our siblings when they’re being mean to us? How do we treat our children when they’re not obeying? How do we treat our neighbor who leaves his trash in our yard?
I think we’re tempted to be like the man in the parable that Jesus told us. The one who is forgiven a great debt by his employer, but then goes home and throttles his servant when he can’t pay HIS debt. Even though God has blessed us greatly with His love, wealth, health, and relationships… even though we’re sinful people ourselves… we draw back our hand when it comes time to share those blessings with other sinners. “They’ll just waste it”, we might think to ourselves. Yet we don’t hesitate to accept the blessings God, in His infinite generosity, gives US each day, even if we DO waste them from time to time.
And we DO waste them. It’s not like we use every second of every day to do some good. All of us are guilty of being selfish and silly and sinful from time to time. We waste the gifts of time, love, and friendships (which are far more valuable than money) that God has lavished on us.
So let’s try to be more generous with those in our lives. After all, the way we show God how much we love Him is by loving His children. Like He said to Peter “Do you love Me? Feed my lambs.”
God, please give us generous hearts, like Yours.