A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 12:38-44
In the course of his teaching he said,p “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
"For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
The first widow, Zarephath, in the first Reading, showed her faith and confidence in the Lord, when she trusted in the promise of the prophet Elijah. Even though there was a great famine and the widow and her son would suredly die, she generously gave food to the prophet. And she and her son were able to eat til the famine ended.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus is sitting there with his disciples and he is watching a certain person--you can almost feel the love he had for this widow, watching how this small frail widow gave her 2 coins for the treasury. Jesus knew her story, and knew her heart . The widow is unaware of the beauty she is showing by her charitable generosity. That is all she had and Jesus knew her heart and the donation made in the presence of the Most High. Her gift was an excellent offering as Jesus values the "disposition" of the giver rather than the gift received.
Jesus watches all of us and our actions with interest and affection. How can we honor God? Do we tithe what is our fair share or do we hold back because we are upset with the church? Do we volunteer only when we feel like it and not when it is necessary? Do we let others know what we are doing?
Let us during this month of intercessory petitions for the Souls in Purgatory, relate to our neighbor with love , respect and care, freely giving our love for others. Let us share our wealth with the homeless, with the sick, the tired, the lost. Donate new clothes to the homeless, take food to the needy, preferably hot nutritional food. Donate new blankets, caps, warm clothing during the winter months to those who have nothing. We can even pay for a stranger's meal. We can drive around with bags filled with food to give to the homeless. Listen to your coworker when they want to share their life, their worries with you. Participate in their sorrow, their joys, and their happiness.
There is so much to do from the generous gifts given to us by God. People needing love are everywhere. Loving someone to the point that we will pray persistently for their souls is the best gift to the treasury of heaven.
PRAYER: Dearest Lord, let me not be a stranger to works of mercy and kindness. Show everyone how to make a difference in the life of the less fortunate.
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