Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gospel for Nov 22, Memorial: St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

Monday, 34th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 21:1-4

The Widow's Mite
[1] He (Jesus) looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury; [2] and He saw a poor widow put in two copper coins. [3] And He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; [4] for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living she had."

1-4. Our Lord, surrounded by His disciples, watches people putting offerings into the treasury. This was a place in the women's courtyard, where there were various collection boxes for the offerings of the faithful. Just then, something happens whose significance Jesus wants His disciples to notice: a poor widow puts in two small coins, of very little value. He describes this as the greatest offering of all, praising the generosity of giving alms for this purpose, particularly that of those people who give part of what they need. Our Lord is moved by this tiny offering because in her case it implies a big sacrifice. "The Lord does not look", St. John Chrysostom comments, "at the amount offered but at the affection with which it is offered" ("Hom. on Heb", 1). Generosity is of the essence of almsgiving. This woman teaches us that we can move God's heart if we give Him all we can, which will always amount to very little even if we give our very lives. "How little a life is to offer to God!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 42).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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