Reflecting on Exodus 22: 20-26
Last weekend I ran into Monsignor Ken Leone, a beloved priest in the Denver Archdiocese and one of the city’s experts in the art of giving away most of what passes through his pockets in a day.
I hadn’t seen him since the day, three years earlier, when he invested a mutual friend with the task of tricking us into accepting a twenty dollar bill from him.
“Someone I know dropped this outside your drugstore today. He was too lazy to pick it up so he asked that I just give it to you.”
“Ha! Please give Monsignor Leone our warmest thanks.” We both laughed.
I put the bill in the pocket of my jeans, and forgot all about it until later in the day, when I was delivering prescriptions to an elderly, poor Russian widow living in a small apartment.
“Do you know Monsignor Leone?” she asked, out of the blue.
“That’s so funny you ask that. I just sent a message to him today.”
“Yes. He is very good to me.” Not surprising.
Our transaction complete, she asked if I had change for the five dollar bill she was using to pay her bill. I had foreseen this, and had put two dollars in my pocket. But, sure enough, out came the twenty dollar bill.
“Kathy,” I could hear Monsignor’s voice in my ear, “are you REALLY going to switch pockets and give this poor widow two dollars, when the twenty came to you as a gift to begin with?”
The ancient book of Exodus got it right. The widows, orphans, and aliens in the land are owed what has come to us as gift.
How are you helping to transfer your gifts to those who have less?