St. Francis of Assisi lived with open hands. For Francis, open hands symbolized openness to the divine presence in his life and openness to others. Francis lived in difficult times. He struggled personally and in the midst of a war-torn world. Francis’ conversion resulted from living with open-hands. He was open to what he felt God was initiating through him. Open hands are the opposite of closed fists: holding on tenacious to what we have whether it be money, gifts, ideas, time, understanding, happiness, joy, etc. Greed is the same thing as closed fists. Greed results from insecurity and a scarcity mentality: if I share with others, I will not have enough for myself.
In the Christian scriptures (Luke 12:14-21) Jesus talks about greed. “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Share what you have, Jesus says. Even though Jesus’ words remind of us of the expression, “You can’t take it with you”, Jesus is saying more than that. Happiness and contentment is found through generosity. Happiness is not just found in the next life, but is found here, too. Happiness is found in the midst of generosity and open-handedness rather than through greed and closed fists.
Where in my life am I greedy? Am I aware where my tendency to be greedy originates? Do I believe there is enough for me? How am I generous? How do I open my hands to receive courage and patience to live in the present moment?
Our invitation is to be generous.
Blessings and peace.