Photo: Giotto, "Scenes from the Life of Christ; Entry into Jerusalem." Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua.
Generosity of Heart
March 20 — Palm Sunday
Readings: Mt 21:1-11; Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Mt 26:14-27:66 or 27:11-54
"Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them here to Me. And if anyone should say anything to you, reply, 'The master has need of them.' Then he will send them at once." Mt 21:2-3
The Sacred Scriptures are resplendent with fascinating anonymous characters. Who is this owner of the ass and colt, who, at the peculiar beckoning of the Master, sent them to Him at once, without delay simply because he learned that "the Master had need of them"? Could he ever have realized the glorious purpose that his gift of animals would serve in the divine plan? By means of them, prophecies regarding the Messiah would be fulfilled. Such trust. Such docility. Such generosity. Is this owner now enjoying his eternal reward in heaven as a saint? It is delightful to think so.
Yet, the ready generosity of the owner of the ass and colt stands as a challenge to us today. All that we possess comes to us from the hand of the Almighty. But do we hold onto what He has given us with clenched fists or with open hands? Do we allow the Lord to use us and all that we have to serve His glory, or do we hesitate in our response or even resist Him altogether: "Wait, Lord! I have need of them," we say. Such a stance is all the more alarming when we consider it in view of the fullest expression of God's generosity: the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. How can we persist in holding onto anything for ourselves when God has given to us — and for us — His dearly beloved Son?
What will be your response to this challenge during Lent? Is there something that you are holding onto that God is calling you to give up?
Lord, You are Goodness beyond imagining. May I contemplate Your Holy Passion frequently. Give me generosity of heart, so I am always ready to give You whatever I have. Amen.
Diary of St. Faustina