Those two go hand-in-hand. And I fail at both of them regularly. My first response is usually “no.” That’s 99 44/100% of the time. No.
It is my own selfishness, my own refusal to be inconvenienced, that prevents me from saying “yes.” And when I finally do say yes, I’m not gracious with my generosity–or generous with my graciousness. That kind of attitude is no good for my family.
Today’s Gospel (John 13:16-20) challenges us:
When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.”
Jesus had washed his disciples’ feet. What a model of graciousness and generosity! Not even the lowest slave or household servant would be expected to do such a thing, Father H. explained to us this morning at Mass. In fact, he said, it was scandalous that Jesus would have dressed as a slave and done a thing like this.
And Jesus wants us to do the same. Not literally washing someone’s feet, but acting generously and graciously when the need is presented.
I need to, at the very least, stop using things I cannot control as my excuse, and learn to stop saying “no” so much. If I cannot immediately get to “yes,” maybe I can at least get to “wait and let me think about it.”
That’s way better than “no.”
Today, may God give us all gracious and generous hearts.