As professed Religious nothing we possess belongs to us personally; everything belongs to the community and our needs are supplied from the common purse. When Saint Francis of Assisi encouraged his brothers to persevere in their life of poverty, he often reminded them of today’s Gospel. “Let the friars imitate Brother Lark, he dresses simply, with the colours of the earth. Though he owns nothing, he doesn’t worry about food, for he eats from God’s hand. Brothers, all of God’s gifts are wonderful, but we cannot glory in them, for they are not ours to own. Except for one gift, the Cross of Christ. Christ calls us to take up this gift of dying to self and possess it as our own. I revel in the glory of Christ’s Cross and nothing else!”
Our Lord doesn’t call everyone to make a vow of poverty. But whether we are rich or poor, our material blessings are not our own. We are just stewards of what we have under the lordship of Christ. And so the Gospel today asks us to reflect on our attitudes towards money, property, and all the things we possess and use.
We may be poor Religious without a bean to our names, but God calls us to be generous. And, of course, generosity isn’t limited to money. God asks us to be good stewards of all of our resources. And this includes our time, and our unique skills and talents. We can even be a steward of our personal knowledge of God. And so, even if it’s just for today, let us all look for a way that we can meet someone’s need with our generosity.