Monday, November 26, 2012

Ordinary 34 Monday

A recent cartoon features a mother serving her kids a breakfast of what appeared to be waffles. One child was a skeptic, though. He poked the waffle with a fork, sniffed it, and asked: “Is this turkey?”

            Although I’m not recommending turkey waffles, it’s good stewardship to serve leftover turkey. It’s not good stewardship, however, when our charitable giving amounts to our financial leftovers. That’s one lesson we can take away from today’s gospel, in which Jesus praised a poor widow who gave all she had, but was unimpressed with those who gave only of their surplus wealth.

            Studies have shown that poorer people in the US give proportionally more of their incomes to charity than do those better off. It’s seems that what was true in Jesus’ day is just as true in ours! But why is this? Yes, the cost of living is going up. But so are our expectations. Our wants have become needs, our finances get squeezed, and we give away only what’s left over, which typically isn’t much.

            Today’s gospel challenges us to imitate the poor widow: to give generously, cheerfully, and sacrificially. In other words, from our feast, and not its leftovers.

(My book of daily meditations for Lent is now available from Ave Maria Press:  It is available also at Amazon: )


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