The Gospel according to Luke (21:1-4)
When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”
Reflection: When we have a surplus of something then it’s easy to give or donate. I am not only referring to money, but it could be food or shelter resources or love or our personal time.
Today’s Gospel references a woman who is poor and probably needs every cent that she possesses but yet she still gives to the church. I have learned a long time ago and only by my own witness is that you “get what you give”. Our faith helps us to sacrifice more of what we have because we understand and believe in the value of helping others and helping our community. As Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins, we must also make sacrifices for the good of others. What is giving and generosity all about? Is it about how much money we have? Or is it something deeper, something more interior?
Pope Francis said: ‘Faced with the needs of others, we are called to deprive ourselves of essential things, not only the superfluous; we are called to give the necessary time, not only what remains extra; we are called to give immediately and unconditionally some of our talent, not after using it for our own purposes or our own group’.
Giving, in this case, is in reference to money. But this is simply an illustration of all forms of giving we are called to offer. For example, we are also called to give of our time and talents to God for the love of others, the upbuilding of the Church and the spreading of the Gospel.
The same may be said of you. Perhaps you are one who is busy with what seems to be small and insignificant daily tasks. Perhaps cooking, cleaning, caring for the family and the like occupy your day. Or perhaps your employment takes up most of what you do each day and you find you have little time left for “great” things offered to Christ. The question is really this: How does God see your daily service?
Perhaps you are not called to go forth and do “great things” from a public and worldly perspective. Or perhaps you do not even do “great things” that are visible within the Church. But what God sees are the daily acts of love you do in the smallest of ways. Embracing your daily duty, loving your family, offering daily prayers, etc., are treasures that you can offer God every day. He sees these and, most importantly, He sees the love and devotion with which you do them.
Speaking of great love and devotion, today is the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a liturgical feast celebrated on November 21 by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and some Anglo-Catholic Churches. Even though the feast has no basis in history, it stresses an important truth about Mary: From the beginning of her life, she was dedicated to God. She herself became a greater temple than any made by hands. God came to dwell in her in a marvelous manner and sanctified her for her unique role in God’s saving work. This Feast Day is a celebration of Mary’s motherhood of Jesus. It is a reminder of the role she played in the salvation of humankind. The title “Mother of God” is a western derivation from the Greek “Theotokos”, which means “God-bearer”.
Action of the Day: Don’t fall into the trap of worldly notions of greatness. Do small things with great love and you will be giving an abundance to God in service of His holy will.