Abundance and Need

by | Oct 23, 2023 | Liturgy, Prayer, Society, Teachings

“I have learned the secret… of living in abundance and of being in need.”

St. Paul wrote this in his letter to the Philippians. He learned how to live in both abundance and need. Paul understood being fed while being hungry. He knew how to recognize his perpetual need for God, as well as God’s infinite goodness.

His letter, which was the second reading at Mass on October 15th, reads like a puzzle. He began with his normal greeting: “Brothers and Sisters”. Then he explains, “I know how to live in humble circumstances. I know also how to live with abundance.” Paul was a converted apostle. He surrendered all his possessions and wealth to follow Christ. He knew comfort, and he traded it for humility. But the abundance he is talking about has nothing to do with past material belongings.

“In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry. Of living in abundance and of being in need.”

There are countless instances in the Bible that refer to the need for God as hunger. Hunger is something we all experience and understand. When we’re hungry, we eat (ideally). In any case, we usually eat every day. We search for satisfaction and nourishment. The Catholic Church leads us through days we practice hunger as penance, seeking the Lord in our abstinence.

Paul made his life a constant search for God. He was close to the Lord and served Him through his existence. Paul was well fed, but never satisfied. He sought Christ relentlessly, constantly being nourished but remaining hungry for more.

“I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”

This letter was Paul’s call to his followers to recognize their own abundance and need in the Lord. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” The man who knows how to go after what he needs and obtain it for himself will still be hungry. He will remain in need of nourishment. But, he will live in abundance knowing how to feed himself.

People who know how to find God in their every day lives know how to fish. We know how to recognize His grace and our need for Him.

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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