• Father David M. Knight

Example Inspires Generosity


In Matthew 5:39, 40, 41, the Kindness that expresses Patient Endurance appears in acts of overwhelming Generosity: turning the other cheek; giving cloak as well as coat; walking another mile.

Only Christ's example justifies such excess.

Christ died for the ungodly… Rarely will anyone die for a righteous person… But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:6).

Pope Francis says love "shows its fruitfulness"—the Fruit of the Spirit—when it lets us "experience the… grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly, without asking to be repaid, purely for the pleasure of giving and serving" (Joy of Love 94).

We experience divine life when we are generous simply because Jesus was. Then we experience ourselves as the risen Jesus, who is acting with us, in us, and through us. That is the "Fruit of the Spirit."

In Mark 10:23 a man was looking for more than "Ten Commandment goodness." Jesus suggested an act of Generosity so extreme it would be an experience of divine life: "Sell what you own, and give the money to the poor." When the man "went away sad," Jesus said the rich could hardly enter the kingdom of God.

His shocked disciples asked: “Then who can be saved?”

Jesus answered, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

Those living God's divine Life have the Generosity that is a Fruit of the Spirit—if they follow Christ's example.

To radiate Generosity, live by the example of Jesus.


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