READINGS for 2009-11-08
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. – Mark 12:42
Our office janitor’s house burned down in December 2007, including all the clothes of his daughter, Twinkle. Wanting to inculcate generosity, I hinted to our then six-year-old daughter Tesa about the other girl’s plight. In all her innocence, she immediately offered her piggy bank worth a year’s savings to buy new clothes for Twinkle.
Generosity is not about the amount that you make but the sacrifice it entails. When we give from our excess, we do not share in the plight of the recipient.
Though the money in Tesa’s piggy bank couldn’t even buy a shirt, my daughter’s example shamed me into giving more help and be empathetic with someone else’s loss. To also feel the pain and suffer with them. To give until it hurts, too. Jun Asis
How much do I give?
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous, to give and not to count the cost.
Both Elijah and the woman obviously have great faith in God — Elijah to make the promise he did and the woman to believe him. We should seek to develop a faith as strong as this, or more correctly to pray for the gift of faith as strong as this and the courage to live it. Faith is a gift that I believe we all have. However, the problem is that we do not act on it enough and because we rarely use it, like any muscle in the body it wastes away or atrophies.
1 Kings 17:10-16
10 In those days, Elijah the prophet went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her, “Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.” 11 She left to get it, and he called out after her, “Please bring along a bit of bread.” 12 “As the LORD, your God, lives,” she answered, “I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.” 13 “Do not be afraid,” Elijah said to her. “Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son. 14 For the LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’ ” 15 She left and did as Elijah had said. She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well; 16 The jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.
Psalm 146:7. 8-9. 9-10 (1b)
R: Praise the Lord, my soul!
7 The LORD keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives good to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free. (R) 8 The LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those that were bowed down; the LORD loves the just. 9 The LORD protects strangers. (R) The fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts. 10 The LORD shall reign forever; your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia. (R)
P S A L M
Christ is the perfect High Priest; He is also the perfect offering to the Father. Herein lies one of the deepest mysteries of the Eucharistic sacrifice. Jesus is both the one who offers and the one being offered. We are called to be like Him, so let us always be ready to offer our lives as a living sacrifice to Jesus.
24 Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. 25 Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; 26 if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. 27 Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment, 28 so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.
G O S P E L
Pompous ceremonies and displays of splendor for little or no reason are terribly boring and also irrelevant to the needs of most people. Yes, it is good to honor the Lord, but even this ought to be done in moderation, especially if the splendor of the event is going to be costly and we are in touch with many of the poor. I wonder what God thinks of the excesses in our lives in the midst of the poverty of the majority — I do not think He is very impressed. Maybe it is time for us to look at ways of redressing the inequities in our society.
38 In the course of his teaching Jesus 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 thetreasury 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: Maybe it is time for us to look at ways of redressing the inequities in our society.
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 Jeremiah 19-22
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
A tOtAlly efficAciOus cROss
What do we mean when we say that we are saved by faith? Basically, what we are saying is that we believe that what Jesus did on the cross, His death and resurrection, is sufficient to save us from our sins. There is nothing that can be added to this saving work of Jesus; all we have to do is believe in it and live it as the most fundamental truth of our lives.
A further result of this is that no matter what sacrifices we may make in our lives, they do not save us, indeed cannot save us. Any sacrifices we make are made as a form of thanksgiving to Jesus for His sacrifice and as an example for others that they may see in us what Jesus has done for them. It is our way of following in the footsteps of Christ who gave His life for the salvation of all. Anything that we may do is efficacious in bringing about the salvation of others only insofar as what we do is joined to the cross of Jesus, the only means by which men and women are saved.
The author of the Letter to the Hebrews tells us that the sacrifice of Christ is never repeated. Thus, when we celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice, what we have is the actual sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary made present to those gathered for the Mass. It is the one and same sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary that is made present to the People of God in every Eucharist celebrated throughout the world. The Jews offered sacrifices of animals for their sins over and over again. Jesus offered His life to the Father on the cross once and once only. That one time, 2,000 years ago was sufficient for the salvation of all men and women of all time.
This is why we have something very special in the Eucharist and we need to treasure it greatly. We should always give the greatest respect for the Blessed Sacrament reserved for us in the tabernacle of the Church for our adoration and focal point for prayer. Let us never take for granted the great gift we have in the Eucharist and always remember to drop by and say some prayers once in a while in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
When was the last time I went to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament? Don’t I think it would be a good idea to do this as often as possible?
Holy Spirit, help me to realize the great treasure we have as Catholics in the gift of the Eucharist. Grant me the grace to make it the centre of my life.
St. Deusdedit, Pope, pray for us.
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