September 17, 2017
A World without Scarcity
We can easily remember the times in our lives when someone has been generous to us—whether by giving us a second chance financially or by pouring their time and energy into helping us succeed. Even the smallest moment of generosity can become a memory of great significance to us, one that brings joy and hope. Yet on a daily basis it can be easy to forget such moments of generosity when the world around us is filled with messages of scarcity. We are told that there is not enough—not enough money, jobs, resources, time, or even love—to go around.
Peter’s question in today’s gospel about how many times he ought to forgive someone is grounded in this kind of thinking. Faced with Peter’s fear of scarcity, Jesus’ response reveals his own confidence that there is always more love and more forgiveness to give. Jesus’ words to Peter are grounded in his faith in an infinitely loving God whose mercy knows no limits. This kind of generosity is reflected in Jesus’ parable when the king forgives a debt that would have been impossible to pay back. The king’s action in the parable calls us to respond to the needs we see around us for forgiveness, for assistance, or for the use of our gifts with a generosity that comes from God.
When we gather as a Christian community for worship, we proclaim God’s generous outpouring of love on us throughout history and our own lives. We come to hear Jesus respond to the narratives of scarcity around us with a narrative of abundance and generous giving—the narrative of his own life. When our time together ends, we are sent out to continue writing that story into the world around us through the generosity God has inspired in us.
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