Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/31/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

What Do You Have? We have everything because we have Jesus Christ. We are called to live lives of gratitude and generosity.

Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away (Jesus)

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/31/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: Gratitude, Generosity, virtue, Jesus the yes of God, selflessness, holiness, happiness, Joy, discipleship, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - In our Gospel today Jesus calls his disciples to live differently. He knows what lies ahead for Him - and for all who follow after Him. He calls them to shine their lights in a world of darkness - and to live in integrity. He also invites them to cultivate an attitude of generosity and gratitude.

He invites us to do the same.

"Jesus said to his disciples, "Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear." He also told them, "Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." (Mk. 4:21-25)

The last line unfolds its deeper meaning as I age. I understand what seemed enigmatic when I was a young man. "To the one who has - more will be given; from the one who has not - even what he has will be taken away."  It is a matter of the heart, in the Biblical sense of the word. Do we live our lives focused on our lack - or do we understand the gift we have received in Jesus Christ?

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "Brothers and sisters: As God is faithful, our word to you is not "yes" and "no." For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, Silvanus and Timothy and me, was not "yes" and "no, " but "yes" has been in him. For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him; therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory." (2 Corinthians 1:18-22)

Jesus is the Yes of God. In Him we have everything we need - and so much more to give away.

Over the years I have tried to help explain the kernel of the liberating truth found in this line to people. One phrase I use is living in the economy of heavenly scale.One Gospel account which helps to introduce us to this economy of heavenly scale is the feeding of the five thousand.

It is recorded in all four Gospel accounts, underscoring its importance. (See, Mk 6:30-44, Mt. 13:14-21, Luke 9: 10-17, Jn 6:5-13). However, let me use Marks account (Mk. 6:30-44) and reflect on the lessons it offers us in learning to live lives of gratitude and generosity..

Be Freed from Self Love

"The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught." (Mk. 6:30)
 
The focus of the disciples in this profoundly important encounter was on themselves and accomplishments in their ministry. This kind of focus on self is the antithesis of an authentic spiritual life. Though some contemporary versions of religion attempt to figuratively baptize it, it is not the path to self fulfillment but to the loss of one's soul. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own self in the process?"

These men had traveled with Jesus. They knew who He was. Yet, they clearly had not yet come to grasp the implications of their relationship with Him. They had seen, perhaps with their eyes, but not yet with their hearts. 

Learn to See Others 

"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place, and get some rest." (Mk. 6:31)

Jesus focused on the disciples and identified with their need. He invited them to come with him into a new way of viewing themselves, their lives and their mission. This takes new vision, the eyes of living faith, turned off of ourselves and seeing others now in His light.
 
Compassion: Learn to Suffer With

"So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things." (Mk. 6:32- 34)

Jesus is moved with compassion (to "suffer with", in the Greek), his attitude is always redemptive. His first act of love is to TEACH them. The disciples did not understand who they were or who Jesus  was. This lack is their greatest poverty.

Never Send Them Away

"By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. "This is a remote place," they said, "and it's already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." (Mk. 6:35, 36)

Again the disciples focus is on themselves and not the ones for whom Jesus had gathered them together. Their notion of meeting the poverty of the people is to send them away to take care of themselves.
 
Learn to Live Redemptively

"But he answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?" (Mk. 6:37)

Jesus invites the disciples into a fresh new way of thinking and living - a life of participation - through embracing His redemptive mission. Their eyes, hearts and minds were not yet opened and they do not understand. They have an accounting model- a model based on scarcity and not provision, lack and not leveraged love. 
 
Answer the Question: What do you have?

"How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five--and two fish." (Mk. 6:38)

The invitation continues. He asks them to give what they have and begin to participate in His mission by accepting his invitation to the freely given sacrifice of a surrendered life of love. It is in that gift of self that they will bear the fruit that such a co-redemptive life bears. Then they will become sons in the Son.
 
Mediation and Multiplication

"Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. "(Mk. 6:39-44)

Jesus uses the matter given by men to manifest the manna of heaven. It is in the breaking (of both the disciples' self-centeredness and the bread of their personal sacrifice) that both the manifestation and the multiplication occur.

Here is where the leverage of love and the economy of heavenly scale are demonstrated so well. The invitation into the mission of Jesus is to be embraced freely by men and women whose eyes are opened. (See St. Luke 24:30) Living faith opens our eyes to see everything differently because of Jesus Christ. 

Understand About the Loaves

"Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened." (Mk. 6:45-52)
 
Here the divine connection is made between "being" and "doing" -- they had not understood about the loaves.  It was because of that lack of understanding that they succumbed to fear. They were unable to navigate the waters of their lives. Once again, the Lord heard the cry of the poor as it issued from the mouths of his own disciples and He spoke these beautiful words:  "It is I. Don't be afraid."

What Do We Have? We have everything because we have Jesus Christ. We are called to live lives of gratitude and generosity, and reveal Him as a gift to others.  

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Year of Faith

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter