Gratitude and Generosity (II) [Awakening Faith]
If I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing, or the needy without garments . . . then let my arm fall from the shoulder, let it be broken off at the joint. (Job 31:19, 22)
Brothers, sisters, and friends, we should not allow ourselves to misuse what has been given to us by God’s gift. If we do, we will hear Saint Peter say, “Be ashamed of yourselves for holding on to what belongs to someone else. Resolve to imitate God’s justice, and no one will be poor.” We should not labor to heap up and hoard riches while others remain in need. If we do, the prophet Amos will speak out against us with sharp and threatening words: “Listen, you that say: When will the new moon be over, so that we may start selling? When will the sabbath be over, so that we may start opening our treasures?” (Amos 8:5).
Let us put into practice the supreme and primary law of God. He sends down rain on just and sinful alike, and causes the sun to rise on everyone without distinction. To all earth’s creatures he has given the broad earth, the springs, the rivers, and the forests. He has given the air to the birds, and the waters to those who live in the water. He has amply given to all creatures the basic needs of life, not as a private possession, not restricted by law, not divided by boundaries, but as common to all and in abundance. His gifts are not deficient in any way, because he wanted to give equal blessings to things equally cherished and to show the abundance of his generosity.
Gregory of Nazianzus
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotionals from the Early Church
by James Stuart Bell and Patrick J. Kelly
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