Monday, November 25, 2013

Ordinary 34 Monday

I’ve heard it said that it doesn’t take much of a person to be a Christian. Instead, it takes all of a person to be a Christian.

I thought of these words as I reflected on today’s gospel of the "widow’s mite." We heard how a poor woman contributed to the Temple treasury literally her last penny. Not only was her gift an act of great generosity, it was also an act of great faith. Because by giving to the Lord everything she had, she symbolically placed her entire self into his hands, trusting completely in his loving care and guidance. When she "offered her whole livelihood," as Jesus said, she in effect offered her entire life.

Jesus said that she made her gift "out of her poverty," and we usually understand him as referring to her lack of financial resources. But might not it also refer to her "poverty of spirit"- one of the beatitudes- in which she recognized her absolute need for God in every aspect of her life.

The challenge for us today- and every day- is to make a similar act of trust, and confidently place our entire lives- with all our plans, resources, and fears- into God’s hands, to do with as he pleases. In the words of St. Ignatius Loyola, "All that I am and all that I have, you have given me, (Lord). I surrender it all to you to be disposed of according to your will."

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