If you took Economics 101, you might remember the definition of economics as the science of how scarce resources are produced, distributed, and consumed. It was the sense of scarcity and ultimate doom which led Thomas Carlyle to refer to economics as the “Dismal Science” in the 19th century.
So what does economics have to do with today’s readings? In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about sowing and reaping bountifully. He says God loves a cheerful giver. How different this sounds from a science which studies scarcity and how some people accumulate wealth and others are poor?
I think God’s economics – the economics of love – are governed by the principle of bountifulness and plenty. The more we give away, the more we receive. There is no limit to love. We always have room in our hearts to love one more person or to show extra care to a loved one in need.
Think about it. God’s love is infinite, absolute and unconditional. It is this love from which we are created and to which we are called to share in the world. There is no such thing as scarcity in the economics of love.
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus