The holiday season is right around the corner, and for many people it is a time of giving and increased generosity, as we reflect on the gifts we have been given and offer our gifts to others. Generosity can seem easier during the holidays, but what are some ways we can cultivate a culture of generosity year-round?
Fr. Joe D’Amico stopped by Morning Air® recently to discuss how yesterday’s Mass readings can help us understand the nature of generosity and have the courage to be more generous in our daily lives.
On the Sunday Mass readings, Fr. D’Amico said, “I love that Gospel story. It’s not too often we hear females taking the center stage, and they’re being venerated by Our Lord. So we hear about two widows in the Scriptures – the First Reading and the Gospel Reading – it really makes me perk up and pay attention to the larger dynamic that’s going on.”
“We often use the expression, ‘I’m going all in. All in!’ We hear it in sports and different activities. And these women were all in. They didn’t hold back and they trusted.”
Fr. D’Amico and host John Harper discussed how trust is a key component in cultivating the gift of generosity, and that we must all examine our lives and our priorities. Asking ourselves some key questions can show us how willing we are to trust and how we are using the gifts God has given us.
“How do we trust? And what’s the first step?” Fr. D’Amico asked. “Whether we’re making a donation or even beyond that. … What do we reserve for charity? What do we reserve for the works of the Lord? Beyond the finances, beyond the dollars and cents, beyond the material – am I a good steward of my time? Do I trust enough to give of my time, talent, and treasure?”
One of the roadblocks to cultivating generosity is fear. Fear of not having enough, fear of what you may have to give up, fear of overextending yourself. This is true not only when it comes to financial generosity, but also in giving of our time.
“What we are seeing, not just in my experience and my pastor friends but outside of the Church and in the world, there is such a shortage of volunteers,” said Fr. D’Amico. “Too many people are just not stepping up today to run things and to run programs. There is a lot of fear, and it is that fear that holds us back from that next step.”
“Fear of taking the plunge, that it’s going to exhaust my resources, it’s going to exhaust my time, it’s going to exhaust my energy. But the women in the readings yesterday show us that when God gives you something that is good and right and holy and you do it trustingly, humbly, God blesses that and makes great things happen.”
Sharing from his own experience, Fr. D’Amico encouraged listeners to let go of fear, saying that trusting in the Lord has opened him up to the Lord’s blessings. He said, “I know that God always blesses the cheerful, humble, trusting giver. So for that one who was thinking about that extra purchase or a gift to charity, in giving it to God’s purposes God will bless that. And I say that because it is my story. Anytime I decided to make that gift, that extra donation, that extra something … God has always blessed it 100-fold.”
Listen to the full conversation with Fr. Joe D’Amico below: