God the All-Generous and Prodigal

by Kathleen Glavich, SND on June 18, 2014

in Blogs

DSCN1730The news last week carried the story that scientists discovered an ocean 400 miles below the earth’s surface that has about three times the amount of water as the oceans we know. Here we are combing space for a planet that has water and so can bear life, and our little Earth has a superabundance of it. This led me to reflect on the ways that God has gone overboard in creating Earth for us. Take the universe, for example. Beyond the brilliant night sky we see in our Milky Way galaxy are billions of other galaxies billions of light years away that the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed. And who knows what lies beyond them? Then there are the males in any species, including our own, who produce billions of sperm when only one is needed to unite with an ovum and produce life. Consider flowers. Roses and lilies would have been sufficient to beautify our planet, yet God designed a variety of flowers to delight us. God’s attributes are all-merciful, all-good, all-knowing, all-just, and so on. In view of his output, we should definitely add all-generous.

The word prodigal really means overly generous. Therefore the parable of the prodigal son is more aptly named the parable of the prodigal father because the dad showed extreme generosity in giving his younger son his inheritance early and then reinstating him when he returned home penniless. God is our prodigal Father. In addition to creating an elaborate home for us, God forgave us when we turned against us, and he sent his Son to redeem us. There could have been an easier way to atone for us…but crucifixion? I’m reminded of the Jewish passover song, Dayenu. It has fifteen stanzas, each one naming a gift of God and ending with “It would have been enough.”A worthwhile prayer would be to write your own Dayenu, naming gifts God has showered on you.

God is like the grandmother in the story about the small boy caught stealing a cookie. She says to him, “Take two.”  So how do we respond to such a magnanimous God? With as much praise and love as we can muster. And it will never be enough. Also, we who are made in God’s image and likeness ought to mirror his generosity as much as possible.

What other evidence of God’s generosity can you think of?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

melanie jean juneau June 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm

loved this

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Mary Montour June 20, 2014 at 9:05 am

I believe that I have had many prodigal persons in my life. I also believe that God has gifted me with the ability to be a prodigal person. Showing gratitude to God for his many gifts of creation and being might also include being “prodigal” to each other. Great post! Thank you.

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Kathleen Glavich, SND June 20, 2014 at 9:29 am

Sounds like you have been greatly blessed, Mary!

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