As I have said before, I love to find a tie in with the readings for the day and what's going on in my life. Well, today is my brother Robert's Birthday and he would roll laughing if I compared him with the Saint of the day, and the words between Saul and Samuel gave me nothing, nor the New Testament reading about old wineskins and new wineskins. But, the story inside the story about St. Charles of Sezze brought to mind a nice tribute to my younger brother on this special day.
Charles worked various jobs in the friary and as porter was most generous to all who came to the door for alms. As rules were changed, Charles was asked to give only to those Franciscans who came to the door asking for help. As the giving decreased, so did the receiving. The friars began receiving less and less alms themselves and Charles told them that there was obviously a correlation between what was going out and coming back. Charles was again allowed to give to everyone in need who came to the door and once again the friary received larger amounts of alms themselves.
It came to me as I read this story that I have watched year after year as Robert has given to the Churches and the local Convent monetarily, his family members when they are in need, as well as the school his girls attend. As I think more and more about his generosity, I realize it's not just the money because he can, but it's also the time he spends with people and the efforts he makes with those who cross his path. I can't sit with him and watch a basketball game without half the stands walking past and shaking his hand or acknowledging his presence. If we go out to eat, someone in the place knows him. And it seems, the more he reaches out, the bigger his world becomes. It's amazing to watch. So, I hope my brother has a great day today because he definitely deserves it. Happy Birthday Robert!