I have been looking for a way to say something that has been on my mind. It crept in there as I sat in the gazebo which is not too surprising because ofttimes I experience this sort of thing. It happens when the mind is not crowded with thoughst I have imposed upon it … just leaving it open to whatever wants to enter. But, I digress. Sunday morning’s emails brought me this: A Three Minute Retreat. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people could, or would, bring joy to us in this way! The arrival of that email was in concert with the thoughts from the gazebo but that sort of union of concepts from different sources happens to me frequently. I just need to keep myself open to recognizing it. But, back to the Joy of life. The clue to how others could more frequently bring Joy to ourselves lies in the prayer at the end of this little retreat. “Loving and gracious God, help me to be generous in sharing Your gifts with others. May the joy I feel in your presence spill over and touch the lives of others this day.” I have added the emphasis on the word “me” because to get joy from others it should start with ourselves. This is another of the many paradoxes of life. To get something, we must be open to giving it and when we do, no matter how little we think we have to share, we find that it goes out there and grows, sometimes yielding 30, 50 ore 100 times the original. Oh my, that ties in with this past Sunday’s gospel, doesn’t it! The seeds we plant, when falling on fertile soil, yield much. But we must be careful not to be selective on where we spread our joy. A priest once told me that that parable has a not so obvious lesson within it. A human farmer would not scatter seeds on hard ground, the pathway, among thistles. But God does. He does not prejudge the recipients of His gifts but makes them available to all. It is we who harden our hearts to His Gifts and refuse to accept them, or, we want to accept them but allow them to be choked out by wants, turned to greed and selfishness of all kinds. To get Joy … Give Joy. To get Kindness … give Kindness. To get Justice … Give Justice. To get Love … Give Love. And don’t be selective about any of it. You can bet that some of it will fall on hard ground, rock, and amongst weeds. That doesn’t discourage God. It should not discourage us. If we want something we must be the one who starts giving. Else, where will it start?
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