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You Are Enough

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9

R. (5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Gospel: John 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

NAB

aug 10

The author and speaker Brené Brown writes that we live in a “culture of scarcity,” our culture of “never enough.” She writes that for many of us our first thoughts are that we have not gotten enough sleep to the end of the day when we go to bed thinking that we didn’t do enough, get enough done, or didn’t have enough time. This translates into a feeling that we ourselves, by ourselves, simply aren’t enough. This sense of not being enough goes all the way back, in our tradition, to the Fall of humanity, that leaving Paradise, that choosing not to obey God.

The readings today show us the solution to the “never enough” mentality that is actually part of fallen human existence. God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. In God we are enough. And in God we have everything we need. This truth can allow us to then give to others cheerfully and “sow bountifully” so as to reap abundant harvest through God’s grace.

Do you find yourself falling into “never enough” thinking? Have you found yourself comparing yourself to others and then feeling that you don’t have enough? Not enough rest or vacation time, not enough nice clothes, never enough sleep? If married, not enough peace among your children, or enough time with your husband or time by yourself? For those single, not enough good men in world, or money to support yourself and the kind of life you’d like to live? Maybe you feel you don’t look good enough, aren’t pretty enough, fit, cute, funny, or even holy enough? The list I can come up with for myself is endless.

It is so easy to feel that we are not enough and will never be enough. But because of our Baptism and because Christ atoned for us, that is a lie.

The Christian faith is a great mystery that even through death, God can bring about resurrection and abundance of life. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that if a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it produces much fruit. Essentially, it is in the experiences of our limits, our falls, our sufferings, our struggles, our “not enoughs” that if we turn to God, He can use those to bring about abundant life and great fruitfulness in our lives.

Maybe it is simply our belief that we are not enough that needs to die, so that Christ can raise us up and bring about abundant life within us today.

Dear Jesus, I give you praise and thanks for all of the good gifts you have given me. Give me peace and confidence in the truth that you provide for all of my needs. When tempted to compare myself to others and find I come up short, bless me with Your grace and strength to turn to You in gratitude for Your abundant gifts in my life. Thank You, Jesus, for all of your goodness and love. Amen.

photo credit

Mary Catherine Craige is a lover of creativity and learning new things. When she is not guiding the development of young children through Montessori methods, you can find her behind her harp, taking an art class, or writing little poems. You can find out more about her here.

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