Bishop Jason Gordon

Bishop of the diocese o Bridgetown

Generosity! Extreme Generosity!

Generosity! Extreme Generosity!

One of the most impressive experiences of the Camino is the extreme generosity of so many people many of whom are on very tight budgets. It is as if the Camino attracts generous people from all over the world. 

I would like to give some stories of generosity that have touched me deeply. Two days ago I pulled into a town at around 11:30am, it was a lovely day, and the sun was shining and the sky blue. As I pulled into the first cafe a young Irish man saw me and before I could take off my knapsack he asked: "What are you drinking"? We sat for a while and had a pint together and then got up and were on our way going at different speeds. It was just his generosity. 

That same night a couple from Wisconsin went into a meat market to see the sausages, the place was closed but nonetheless the owner gave the couple some sausages. They cooked them and shared them out with all of us. 

Yesterday evening was the time to do a big laundry. I was putting together my dirty clothes to go to the washing machine to begin. Two other people in the room said: "Are you washing? Let us put a load together.”  We did, one of them paid to wash and the other to dry and neither would take money from me or the others. 

Last night also a young man from Germany asked me what I was doing for dinner. He said, “Join us”, his girlfriend and himself. Although we did not have a stove we managed with a microwave to cook a great pasta meal which we had with a bottle of wine which I bought. 

 

                      

 

These expressions of generosity are so common on the Camino. It is as if generosity is infectious on the way. 

Tonight I sleep in a different kind of Albergue. It is a Donativo; that is, for donation only. Pilgrims come and stay and have a meal at night and share the house of the family and then put a donation in a box when they are leaving. There is no agreed amount and no minimal payment. 

                                           

Here, people see generosity as part of the expected value system of the Camino and it works! You see, there are two ways of seeing the world: 1. a world which is a place of scarcity and one in which we must horde what we need, and 2. a world as a place of abundance and where there will always be more than enough. The first way is the system of the world; the second is that of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. 

On our inner Camino, how are we doing with generosity? Do we see abundance and act this way towards others by being extremely generous? Or do we see scarcity and hold back and horde. The early church demonstrated this abundance mentality in everything it did as is seen in the Acts of the Apostles.

 

Christians should be extremely generous! This was Jesus's witness. He gave everything He had. I invite you to reflect on generosity, how you receive it and how generous you are with you time talent and treasure. Remember, generous people are always very happy people.  If we fill the world with generosity, what a wonderful world it would be!

 

 

                       

 

+ Bishop Jason

I Am The Vine
The Spirit Is Blowing