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Be Generous and Heal Quickly

I love to teach Scripture, and I work hard for my classes. I have PowerPoint presentations, share my notes with the students, give them resources to help with their research papers, and hand their graded papers returned within two hours. At the end of the year, I receive the student evaluations, and I get beat up. I wonder if I did anything good. “He talks too fast. His quizzes are too hard. He gives out too much reading, etc.” One student said I taught heresy. I was even called into the dean’s office. I get beat up.

Another time I was waiting at a red light, and the person behind me was leaning on the horn. I looked in the rearview mirror to see what was wrong and the guy behind me was shaking his finger at me, and it was not his index. He did not see the “No turn on red” sign. Another time I was on call for the hospitals, and I got called during the entire night. I still had to work the next day. I called Mom because I needed a little TLC. I got yelled at, “You are working too hard, you are taking on too much, and you need to slow down.”

We get beat up in life. I should not be surprised. Christ promised the cross, suffering, and opposition. I tell people that hurt is part of the deal when we follow Christ. That is why it is so important to heal quickly. For example, when we break an arm, we must do certain things to heal. We set the bone, rest it, sleep well, eat healthily, and be faithful to the therapy.

Isaiah tells us what we need to do to heal quickly: generosity.

I always thought generosity equaled loss. That is not true. Generosity is an investment. I asked one of our priests in Milton if I could borrow his truck. There was resistance. “When do you need it?” “Thursday.” “Ok, I guess.” After using the truck, I filled it with gas and left a twenty-dollar bill on the driver’s seat. The next day he called me, “Anytime you need it, it is yours.” Generosity is an investment. After Covid, I went out to eat and gave the waitress a generous tip. A few months later, I returned and got great service. The waitress asked me about my birthday at the end of the meal. I told her it was not for another month. She returned with a piece of cake and a candle. My friend, Fr. David, assigned to Italy, was returning to visit his family. It had been years. I had an envelope with my birthday money. I handed it to him, saying, “I am sure you can use this.” That afternoon I got a Christmas card with even more money than I had given away. Generosity is an investment. The prophet Isaiah insists that we need to be generous because it heals us from hurts and pains. Generosity allows us to get back on our feet, so we can be the best we can be.

Let me share with you the best advice I have ever received. One day my mother noticed that I was quiet and withdrawn. She asked me about it and concluded, “You are always energetic, happy, and fun. You are always helping me around the house. I mess the old Peter.  I told her that my best friend had embarrassed me in front of the class. This is how she responded. “Do not let anyone rob you of your good stuff.” I have never forgotten that line. We get beat up in life, so do what you need to heal quickly.

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