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Doctrines & Morals

Only generosity can change our Mite to Might

1 Kgs 17:10-16, Heb. 9:24-28, Mk 12:38-44. On this Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, the Church challenges us to learn and appreciate the virtues of generosity and hospitality. Today, we are invited to live in total commitment to serving God with a humble and generous heart, free from pride and prejudice. Last Sunday readings emphasised the centrality and inevitability of love in our Christian lives. The readings of this Sunday highlight instances of a concrete demonstration of this love in the lives of two poor widows who sacrificially gave their whole lives and means of livelihood to God, symbolising the supreme sacrifice Jesus would offer by giving His life for others. In today's first reading, a poor widow who has barely enough food for herself and her son welcomes the prophet Elijah as a man of God, shares her food with him and receives her reward in the form of a continuing daily supply of food. In the Gospel, Jesus contrasts the external signs of honour sought by the Scribes with the humble, sacrificial offering of a poor widow and declares that she has found true honour in the sight of God.

The poor widows in the first reading and the Gospel gave away all that they possessed for the glory of God. In the sight of the world, this offering went unnoticed, but in the sight of God, it was much, it was significant and substantial based on her financial status. She gave out the fortune she was saving, her whole livelihood, not to earn some praise or applause, but out of her faith that God would supply all her needs according to His riches and glory. The message we can derive from the story of the widow’s mite is not limited to the generosity of this poor widow. Jesus used the story to denounce religious leaders who are constantly demanding for honour and privileges and take advantage of the poor. His praise of the widow is a radical action, which exalts the humble and humbles the exalted. Jesus acted as a radical who reversed the Temple system, asking those who sit in front rows to go to the backseats and those who sit on the back rows to step up to the front seats. By praising the widow, Jesus gave recognition to ordinary, simple, but dedicated people who are hardly noticed in places of worship. He offers a prize of praise to all unsung heroes and heroines of our faith communities and all those people of goodwill whose significant contribution attracts little or no attention. Jesus mentions the virtue of the widow to demonstrate that true religion is not just external and ostentatious piety, but about how much we are able to give of resources and ourselves to God. A generous gift from the heart is the kind of offering acceptable to God.

Lord, help us to give ourselves completely to you and others, so that we may have the same generosity that you appreciated in the poor widow! Amen!! Good morning and happy Sunday!!!

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