Now Freely Give

Now Freely Give

I mentioned to you in that last video that I was praying after college, and that’s how I felt called to the priesthood.
And that’s true, but I also have to mention that I started to give for the first time in my life in that year after college.
I can remember Monsignor McDonald – the priest I tell you about sometimes – he said to me once, “You know
Robby,” he says, “you’re never going to be happy until you’re giving. You’re never going to be happy…” It was toward the end of college actually –
I came back on a vacation to visit – and he says, “You’re never going be to happy until you’re giving.” Man. And I
didn’t know exactly what was going to look like, when I started to give, but I knew I wanted that, because I wanted to be happy. Well, after college I started to get involved with the youth group a little bit and give of my time, and play guitar, and sing for the youth, and you know, serve them in different ways. We would cook for them, travel with them.
And I started to come alive when I was spending time with those young people and giving to them.
And then the homeless of the parish – I had a friend whose mother was working with the homeless and I really wanted to experience what she experienced, because she was coming to life, because she loved it so much – she was like larger than life! And so I started to work with the homeless too and to give to them a little bit, and it was amazing. I started to come to life because of it. How about this: we’ll say it this way.
There are two bodies of water in the Holy Land, in Israel, that are very well known: the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. They both receive the River Jordan.
They both have the same source, but Dead Sea is Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee is alive.
Why? Because the Dead Sea, although it receives the same waters of the River Jordan, it doesn’t give any of it away, and so it’s dead because of it. But the Sea of Galilee gives away all of the water it receives.
It has all these rivers that run from it and it gives away everything that flows in – and the Sea of Galilee is alive while the Dead Sea is dead. I mean. It’s just like the human person.
We’re always being blessed and receiving grace from God – the River Jordan is always flowing into us – but if we don’t give it away everything we’re receiving then we’ll be dead like the Dead Sea. But if we give it away, we’ll be alive like
the Sea of Galilee. So think about this way. It’s like when we when we pray we’re breathing in and when we exhale and when we serve we’re breathing out. So this is the Christian life: breathing in, the prayer, letting God’s
grace in to work on the interior life, so you have it to offer, and then offering and giving it away, the breathing out. Just like a human
person needs to breathe in and out, in order to be alive, like respiration, so too,
with regard to the spiritual life, there’s a breathing in and a breathing out. I mean Jesus said this right? Love of God and love of neighbor. Love of God – and love of neighbor. In any case, this Christian life is an invitation to be fully alive, and to be fully happy. And I experienced that after college.
This is what I call “being called to the priesthood,” just because it happens to be my vocation, to be called to priesthood. But we all have one common vocation and it’s this: When Jesus sends his disciples out he says to them, “Freely you have received – now freely give!

Facebook Acquires Giphy to Integrate With Instagram

Facebook announced Friday that it would be acquiring GIPHY, the leading purveyor of animated GIFs, in a reported $400 million deal. The acquisition envisions a streamlined use of GIFs on Facebook-owned Instagram, where users already enjoy using short animations in GIF form to communicate.

Giphy’s Service

GIPHY is a platform for the creation and sharing of Graphic Interchange Format (GIF) media, which are typically just a few seconds long, and have become an indelible part of meme culture. Invented in the ’80s, GIFs have become ubiquitous in recent years as a way to convey tone and emotion over text-based modes of communication. GIPHY’s vast library includes short, soundless, looped videos that draw from film and television, and are categorized by an exhaustive list of tags. (You can find GIFs that convey happiness, excitement, annoyance…the list is endless).

GIPHY’s library is already accessible on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram Direct Message, where users can search for their desired GIF image, copy it, and paste it into their text-based conversation. And the easy integration of the GIPHY library into a variety of different apps has made it one of the most accessed GIF libraries out there.

Details on The Long-Desired Acquisition

This is not Facebook’s first attempt at acquiring GIPHY. Back in 2015, the social media giant tried to buy-out a young GIPHY, but the start-up declined the offer, opting instead to make deals with a variety of social media platforms and seek to grow its fanbase.

Now, Facebook has succeeded in its purchase, with a stated goal of integrating GIPHY into Instagram “so that people can find just the right way to express themselves.” And while the $400 million price-tag may seem high for a program that was already accessible on Instagram, it makes sense when you consider how many other platforms make use of GIPHY’s library.

Slack, Twitter, and iMessage have all integrated GIPHY into their respective services, and there are no signs that such platforms plan to disassociate from the function now that it’s a Facebook asset. In fact, Facebook hopes that users continue to access GIPHY, regardless of their preferred messaging app.

“People will still be able to upload GIFs,” assured Vishal Shah, Vice President of Product at Instagram. “Developers and API partners will continue to have the same access to GIPHY’s APIs; and GIPHY’s creative community will still be able to create great content.”

Potential Legal Challenge?

While Facebook has recently faced scrutiny by antitrust advocates in Congress, the acquisition of GIPHY is unlikely to trigger any related inquiry, a source familiar with the transaction confided to The Washington Post. Only deals of a certain magnitude would warrant government review.

Still, in February of this year, the Federal Trade Commission revealed it would launch a wide-ranging inquiry into past Facebook acquisitions, as well as similar transactions by other tech giants that have been too small to catch the attention of government watchdogs. In the process, the agency warned that it could unwind those deals it deems to be in violation of antitrust rules.

To this moment, Facebook’s acquisition of GIPHY has garnered no official legal backlash.


Manuela – Suchitepéquez, Guatemala / Farming

Manuela – Suchitepéquez, Guatemala / Farming

Manuela’s story

Mauela is a very hard-working person. She has been growing coffee for several years. She says that she has been able expand her crops since she has had access to the loans from ADICLA, which provide her with an increase of working capital. This has contributed to improving the quality of her production, so she wants to continue growing as a coffee producer. That is why she is requesting a loan that she will invest in the purchase of farm supplies for maintaining her coffee crop.

A loan of $850 helps to purchase farm supplies for the maintenance of her crop.

Xemuj Group-Totonicapán, Guatemala / Livestock

Xemuj Group-Totonicapán, Guatemala / Livestock

Xemuj Group’s story

The Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Xemuj” is located in the cool province of Totonicapán. 30-year-old Miriam is a member of the group, along with 10 others. She and her husband work hard to provide a better quality of life for their three children (2, 5 and 8 years old).

Miriam wants her children to have good educations so they can become successful professionals. In her own words, “I did not have an education. However, I developed my business to provide my children with an education. I don’t want them to have the same future as me!” She has been able to start achieving her goal using the proceeds of her small farm (chickens, pigs).

Miriam is requesting a KIVA loan to buy chickens, pigs and feed for them. She and her friends are requesting their first KIVA loan to invest capital into their small businesses – traditional textile production and animal husbandry. They, along with 30,000 other low income Guatemalan women, participate in the Friendship Bridge “Microcredit Plus” program of loans, education, healthcare.

The ladies have monthly meetings where they make payments on their loans and then are engaged in educational sessions that include topics like health, nutrition, hygiene and business management. Miriam says, “culturally, women have a restriction on formal education, but the advice we receive in our trainings helps us move forward!”

The women of “Xemuj” are very grateful for the generous support of KIVA investors. Thank you!!!

In this group: Francisca , Miriam Mishell , Irma Rutilia , Felipa , Maria , Juliana Everilda , Ana Feva , Estela , Ana Catalina , Victorina , Juana Noelia

A loan of $5,625 helps a member to buy chickens and pigs.

Orlando Jose – Teustepe, Nicaragua / Cattle

Orlando Jose – Teustepe, Nicaragua / Cattle

Orlando Jose’s story

Orlando, age 40, is a hardworking and responsible man. Above all else, he is extremely dedicated to his business of raising cattle. As a result of this business, he has been able to get ahead and provide a better quality of life for his family, which consists of his wife and two children. Orlando is very grateful to Kiva and MiCrédito for the unconditional support he has received from both organizations. Thanks to the assistance, he has been able to gradually grow his business.

Given that he has had very good experiences, the loans have become an essential tool to help him grow as a farmer. Today Orlando has approached Kiva and MiCrédito once again to benefit from another loan so that he can continue capitalizing his business. He will use the proceeds to buy feed for his cattle, as well as wire and wooden posts to build another fence since he is no longer able to contain his animals.

In the future, Orlando would like to continue growing his cattle business and acquire new heads of cattle so that he can secure a prosperous future for his family.

A loan of $750 helps to buy cattle feed, as well as wire and wooden posts for building another fence.

Jony – Achica Baja, Bolivia / Cattle

Jony – Achica Baja, Bolivia / Cattle

Jony’s story

Jony is 26 years old and has his own house and pasture. His home does not have electricity, but he and his wife manage to support themselves by producing and selling cheese. Jony is the father of a two-year-old child.

He is requesting a loan to buy cattle.

A loan of $1,450 helps to buy cattle.