The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you know the joy of selfless giving and generous love for others? True love doesn’t calculate – it spends lavishly! Jesus drove this point home to his disciples while sitting in the temple and observing people offering their tithes. Jesus praised a poor widow who gave the smallest of coins in contrast with the rich who gave greater sums. How can someone in poverty give more than someone who has ample means? Jesus’ answer is very simple – love is more precious than gold or wealth!
Love grows with gratitude and generous giving
Jesus taught that real giving must come from the heart. A gift that is given with a grudge or for display loses its value. But a gift given out of love, with a spirit of generosity and sacrifice, is precious. The amount or size of the gift doesn’t matter as much as the cost to the giver. The poor widow could have kept one of her coins, but instead she recklessly gave away all she had! Jesus praised someone who gave barely a penny – how insignificant a sum – because it was everything she had, her whole living.
Nothing given in love is worthless
What we have to offer may look very small and not worth much, but if we put all we have at the Lord’s disposal, no matter how insignificant it may seem, then God can do with it and with us what is beyond our reckoning. Do you give out of love and gratitude for what God has already given to you?
“Lord Jesus, your love knows no bounds and you give without measure. All that I have comes from you. May I give freely and generously in gratitude for all that you have given to me. Take my life and all that I possess – my gifts, talents, time and resources – and use them as you see fit for your glory.”
PASS THE TRUST TEST
“Test your servants.” —Daniel 1:12
The four young Israelite men asked their master to test their faith (Dn 1:12). Likewise, the poor widow in the Gospel reading asked God to test her faith by giving the Lord all her money (Lk 21:4). During the testing they gave God their all, trusted Him in the present moment, and placed their futures in His hands.
Jesus teaches us that our heavenly Father’s plan is to provide on a “daily bread” basis (Mt 6:11). Many try to provide for a better tomorrow by storing up treasures, only to have that future plundered by the collapse of financial markets, the whims of world governments, or the ravages of thieves, natural disasters, or divorce. “Now is the acceptable time,” not tomorrow (see 2 Cor 6:2). Tomorrow may never happen (see Lk 12:19-20; Jas 4:13-14).
“Stop worrying, then, over questions like, ‘What are we to eat, or what are we to drink, or what are we to wear?’…Your heavenly Father knows all that you need. Seek first His kingship over you, His way of holiness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Mt 6:31, 32-33).
Don’t plan for tomorrow using today’s faith. Your plans probably won’t factor in the great faith God plans to provide tomorrow. “Test yourselves to see whether you are living in faith; examine yourselves” (2 Cor 13:5). Trust in God today, and pass the trust test.
Prayer: Father, help me not to harden my heart today by being overwhelmed with the seeming burdens of the future (Ps 95:7-8). Promise: “Blessed is Your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.” —Dn 3:52 Praise: St. Columban said “It is [Peter’s] chair which makes [Rome] great and glorious.” (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 20, 2015.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements