Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Theology of Abundance

Sunday's Liturgy of the Word is still the "lens" for my morning meditation, even though I'm meditating on the daily readings. Sunday, you will remember, we heard that "all things are vanity," like the situation of a person who works hard and builds up a sizable estate...that goes to someone who didn't work a day in his life. Vanity of vanities! The Gospel used a similar image: a man with a harvest too big for his barns. He had it made! Only one hitch: death was around the corner, and "you can't take it with you."
The alternative opening prayer for Mass this week begins, "gifts without measure flow from your goodness."  If you live by a river, you don't store up barrels of rainwater. All the water you need is flowing in abundance. You only store up goods or provisions when you believe they are limited.
A "theology of abundance" is the secret heart of the Sermon on the Mount: "Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow or reap, but your (your!) Heavenly Father feeds them; consider the lilies of the field..." (Monday's Gospel was the multiplication of the loaves and fish.)  You didn't see St. Paul lugging around cartloads of supplies on those journeys of his: in abundance and in scarcity, he knew how to get by. I think it was because he knew how to find those "gifts without measure" that were and are constantly flowing from God's goodness. That spiritual vision is really something I need to grow in.
What difference would a "theology of abundance" make in your own life, choices, anxieties--or do you already operate from this vision of faith?

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