“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly”
How you define “abundant life” depends a lot on your point of view. For some people it’s having security, even though we know security can be an illusion. For others it’s about acquiring things as though material objects are the source of lasting joy.
Both of those ideas have little or nothing to do with creating the abundant life you and I know. The deepest and richest abundance only comes in one way: by caring for others—the way Christ did. Obviously, I’m not talking about an economic model! But the most radical form of enrichment that involves the soul. The more we give, the more we receive, the more abundant our lives.
This might seem like an impossible riddle to some. But for people of faith, we know that giving in order to receive is the only way to experience God’s love. Our teacher is Christ himself. His sacrifice on the Cross was the supreme transformational act of all time. We imitate Christ each time we offer sacrifice, too—by setting aside our own needs and finding the time to care for others.
Abundance and sacrifice always seem to work together. The lesson I learned long ago is that people who need help are often the first to volunteer their help. I saw this most vividly during my years in the Altiplano of Peru where families who had the least shared the most in gestures of hospitality and caregiving. These are moments when the abundance of life is never more apparent to me.
Friend, it’s now more than a month since beginning our struggle with the corona virus, a good time to remember that God’s first and last word for us is always “life.” God the Son came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly—not as solitary travelers separated by social distancing but as loving, caring, and connected builders of the Kingdom on earth. May this week overflow for you with abundance and new life.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 4th Sunday of Easter
I come before You, Lord God,
with open heart and empty hands
willing to offer all things in return
for the fullness of life You grant
to those who believe in You.
Freely have I received Your grace,
freely help me share Your gifts
with all I meet today.
You, who gave up everything to come
and dwell with us here on earth
for love of humankind,
help me to give up all for love of You
and all my brothers and sisters.
From Your riches we have all received
blessings upon blessings
let Your love overflow through us
to those who call upon You in faith
through Christ, Your Son, and our Lord.
Prayer by Father Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.