Today’s reading reminds us that everything comes from God. The Israelites had suffered greatly in Egypt. Now God has led them to fertile land and rich harvests.
What joy we feel when things go well and we enjoy the bountiful riches of our hard work. Precisely then, it is often easiest to forget that not everyone is so blessed. The Torah makes it clear that the forgotten and the marginalized-the poor, the widow, the orphan and the foreigner-are never to be forgotten. In our scripture reading, the Israelites were instructed to bring the first fruits of the harvest to the priest, with thanksgiving for the land that God had given them, and then, with humility and gratitude, remember their own difficult history and the Lord’s generous response.
In today’s political arena, we are witness to untold suffering and hardship for so many. God’s Spirit invites us to open our heart space to all who are in need, offering our own first fruits, in time, energy, resources and prayers, as a loving response to the God who loved us first. Then we all can celebrate together.
God of love, may I become ever more grateful for all that you have given me. Open my heart to all who are in need this day. May my circle of caring continue to widen. Amen. — MW