READINGS for 2009-06-06
WHO DESERVES THE AWARD?
“For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” – Mark 12:44
Miriam is a businesswoman, philanthropist, patron of the arts, civic leader and head of the women’s circle of her parish church. One day, with her driver Rolly at the wheel, her car sped to get to the country club where she would be honored for her outstanding work for the poor. As they turned at an intersection, her driver stopped short at what he saw at the curb. An old man was on the ground crying out for help, his head bleeding, his legs turned askew.
When Rolly slowed down, Miriam ordered him to drive on because she was late. He looked at her, then looked at the helpless man. He stopped the car and carried the injured man in his arms to bring him to the nearest hospital. He was deaf to Miriam, who was berating him for leaving her with no means of reaching her appointment. Rolly didn’t care if his boss was angry. He was ready to put his job on the line just to save a man.
In your opinion, who deserved to be honored for an outstanding work for the needy? Are we not sometimes guilty of focusing on the dross rather than the gold? Chelle Crisanto
“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.” (Duguet)
Jesus, help me to have the instinct to help and to love anyone and everyone anytime of the day.
It is only now, at the end of the whole affair that Tobias and Tobit discover that they have been conversing with an angel, and one of the seven archangels at that! It is important that when we encounter other people on our faith journey, we would not discount the possibility that they are angels sent by God to test or call us to a deeper faith in Him. As I think it is Jesus who reminds us in the Gospels, we never know when we might be entertaining angels.
Tobit 12:1. 5-15. 20
1 Tobit called his son Tobiah and said to him, “Son, see to it that you give what is due to the man who made the journey with you; give him a bonus too.” 5 So Tobiah called Raphael and said, “Take as your wages half of all that you have brought back, and go in peace.” 6 Raphael called the two men aside privately and said to them: “Thank God! Give Him the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things He has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Before all men, honor and proclaim God’s deeds, and do not be slack in praising Him. 7 A king’s secret it is prudent to keep, but the works of God are to be declared and made known. Praise them with due honor. Do good, and evil will not find its way to you. 8 Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than abundance with wickedness. It is better to give alms than to store up gold; 9 for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin. Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full life; 10 but those habitually guilty of sin are their own worst enemies. 11 “I will now tell you the whole truth; I will conceal nothing at all from you. I have already said to you, ‘A king’s secret it is prudent to keep, but the works of God are to be made known with due honor.’ 12 I can now tell you that when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented and read the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and I did the same thing when you used to bury the dead. 13 When you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner in order to go and bury the dead, 14 I was sent to put you to the test. At the same time, however, God commissioned me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. 15 I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord.” 20 “So now get up from the ground and praise God. Behold, I am about to ascend to Him who sent me; write down all these things that have happened to you.”
P S A L M
Tobit 13:2. 6efgh. 7. 8
R: Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
2 He scourges and then has mercy; He casts down to the depths of the nether world, and He brings up from the great abyss. No one can escape His hand. (R) 6 So now consider what He has done for you, and praise Him with full voice. Bless the Lord of righteousness, and exalt the King of the ages. (R) In the land of my exile I praise Him, and show His power and majesty to a sinful nation. (R) 7 Bless the Lord, all you his chosen ones, and may all of you praise his majesty. 8 Celebrate days of gladness, and give him praise. (R)
G O S P E L
It is not the amount of money that we give to the work of the Lord that He focuses on but the attitude with which we give it. If we give generously then the rich will give far more than a mere tithe (the Old Testament measure of giving); at the same time the poor may give very little or nothing at all at times. Paul tells us that God wants a cheerful giver. The Acts of the Apostles, in the story of Annas and Sapphira, suggests that we should give all to the Lord.
38 In the course of his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, 39 seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.” 41 He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. 43 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. 44 For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
think: It is important that when we encounter other people on our faith journey, we would not discount the possibility that they are angels sent by God to test or call us to a deeper faith in Him.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Judges 17-21
tWo smAll copper coins
In all of history, I doubt such a small amount has had so much written about it. What is the widow’s claim to fame? She dropped two small coins into the collection box in the synagogue. And here we are reflecting upon her action 2000 years later, and this at the time when Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have committed their fortunes (approximately 40 billion dollars each) to charitable work. I bet the widow’s contribution will be talked about for a far longer time, long after these two latter donations no longer command the attention of anyone.
Why do I say such a thing? Simply because the spirit in which a donation is given is far more important than the amount given. Jesus can see into the heart of the widow and her faith is evident to Him. She does not just give of her excess, but she gives from her need— a concept which the modern-day donors I mentioned probably do not understand, nor want to understand.
What do the two small coins teach us today? They teach us that it is the character of a person and the motivation for his actions that contribute a substantial amount to the moral and ethical quality of an act. The end result of an act is not the only thing we need to consider when making choices — as classical moral theology tells us that the end does not justify the means. It is thus important for us to consider the rightness and wrongness of our possible choices when acting. It is never right to choose to do something that is evil; we must always act for the good.
Yes, there are many difficult situations where different people will come to different conclusions. This is why the Church provides us with a body of moral teaching which we must prayerfully use to guide the formation of our conscience judgments. Given that the course we want to take is the one we believe God is asking us to follow, then we are obliged by our faith and good conscience judgment to follow that course of action. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
How well do I form my conscience judgments in the various moral choices I make each day? How can I do a better job of forming my conscience?
Holy Spirit, I need Your help to form my conscience well. Help me to understand better the teachings of the Church and the Word of God available to me in the Scriptures as I seek to follow the example of Jesus in my life.
St. Norbert, Bishop, pray for us.
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