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Doctrines & Morals

The Memorial of St Cecilia

Dan. 1:1-6.8-20, Lk. 21:1-4. Today's first reading presents us with the story of Daniel and his three Jewish companions who had been placed in positions of service to the king of Babylon. By their choice, they subsist on a meager diet of water and vegetables and end up more healthy than the other servants of the king who ate much more and drank wine. They were willing to adapt, learn the new language and be instructed in Babylonian customs, but refused to follow sinful practices that would compromise their fidelity to God. Their absolute refusal to eat unclean food may seem strange to us, but this matter was of vital importance, to be true to their Jewish religion. Eventually, they were admired and loved because of their courage, this made the people understand that loyalty to God can bring an inner peace that is not otherwise available. With the help of God's grace, our integrity will sustain us through life. The trials of life do not destroy but purify the person of faith.

Today's Gospel praises the widow who drops her last two copper coins into the treasury. The phrase “widow’s mite” conveys the paradox that while giving a large donation, some people are actually sacrificing little, whereas others in giving a little, are actually giving a lot. The widow gave less than others to the Temple treasury, but it counted for a lot, because she gave everything she had. By giving what she could not afford, she gave more than the wealthiest donation. We must be ready when the spirit inspires us to go outside our comfort zone, ways that bond us with Jesus who gave Himself totally on the Cross. The widow contributed her coins, not caring if anybody saw what she was doing, never thinking it would be remembered forever. St Cecilia, the Patron of Church music, is also remembered today for her fidelity to God and dedication to His service. Cecilia was a Roman noblewoman who made vow of virginity before God, but was forced by her family to marry a pagan nobleman named Valerian. She dedicated herself to God at her marriage and told her husband Valerian that he could not consummate their marriage as an Angel of the Lord was watching over her.

May we trust God’s love for us, so that, like Daniel, his friends and the generous widow, our service to God will be pleasing in His sight! Amen!! Good morning, have a fruitful week!!!

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