Daily Reflection
July 7th, 1999
Tom Purcell
Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24
Psalm 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19
Matthew 10:1-7
I just returned from a trip to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.  I usually take this trip annually the third week of June.  As I cruise I-80 it always amazes me how verdant, prosperous and bountiful Iowa and Illinois are at this time of year.  The ability to feed and to provide sustenance is readily apparent.  I always say a prayer of gratitude for the opportunity to live in our country and this time in our history.

In today's excerpt from Genesis famine grips the country of Egypt.  The Pharaoh instructs Joseph to allot stored grains, first to the Egyptians and then to others from the rest of the world.  Jesus missions His apostles by sending them out, not to the gentiles, but to the people of Israel who have need of spiritual sustenance, who suffer a famine of faith and purpose.

When I reflect on these readings in the context of my recent experiences, the message seems clear.  Share your physical and emotional and spiritual abundances with those that suffer from famines.  Start with those closest to you.  Take from your storages that you have built up in good times. Remember that the abundances are not something you created, but are in all respects a gift from God.

Perhaps Ignatius prayed best for us when he said "Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and call my own.  You have given all to me.  To you, O Lord, I return it.  Everything is yours; do with it what you will.  Give me only your love and grace, that is enough for me."

I would suspect that most of you reading this have been greatly blessed in your lives.  You have abundances beyond measure.  Your faith, your material well being, your life security.  Why are you storing these gifts?  Who do you know that has a famine, that could use your gifts? Who close to you would benefit from you opening your storage bins? Who is close to you?  From God's perspective, who isn't?

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