The Holy Spirit & Generosity
“Mine, mine, mine!” chirped the crowd of seagulls in the movie Finding Nemo as they eyed a baby crab. Each of them was trying to claim it for dinner—and very loudly! Isn’t that how we can feel sometimes?
Today’s first reading shows us a different way. We see the first Christians generously sharing their possessions so that “there was no needy person among them” (Acts 4:34). Rather than shouting “Mine,” “no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own” (4:32). Something had happened in them when they were baptized and filled with the Spirit. They began to feel responsible for each other and committed themselves to caring for one another.
During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we have been hearing a lot about how Jesus wants us to be agents of his love and compassion. We have been hearing a lot about our call to be as merciful with each other as God is with us. But this can seem like a huge burden at times. “How can I possibly imitate Jesus? It seems next to impossible!”
If you ever feel that way, keep one vital truth in mind: you have the Holy Spirit! God never intended for you to try to do this on your own. This is, after all, why Jesus came—to save us from selfishness and to empower us to live a new life. So if you ever find yourself in a situation where you want to say, “Mine!” turn to the Spirit, and ask for his help. It can be as simple as saying, “Holy Spirit, help me to be generous!” Then take just one step closer to the kind of love that the first disciples showed. Try your best, and watch as the Spirit softens your heart over time.
God doesn’t expect us to give away everything in the name of generosity. But today’s reading isn’t just a fairy-tale either. It’s a picture of his desire that we all be of one heart and mind. With the help of his Spirit, we certainly can do this!
“Holy Spirit, give me the grace to be generous. Help me to tell Jesus, ‘It’s all yours.’ Help me to say the same thing to my brothers and sisters.”
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)