Monday, November 26, 2007
Prayer and Devotions
How God Measures
by Father Paul Campbell, LC
Reflect on your giving. Are you as generous in supporting the Church and evangelization as Jesus wants you to be?
November 26, 2007
Monday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 21: 1-4
When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for this time to be with you. How much I need your presence in my life. Open my heart to hear your word and to respond to it with love in everything I do today.
Petition: Lord, teach me the virtue of generosity.
1. The Wealthy Give from Their Surplus We see Jesus in the Temple watching the crowd of pilgrims placing their offerings into the Temple’s treasury boxes. They had come from around the world, to the one place to worship the God of Israel. Some in the crowd that day were wealthy and able to put in large sums of money. This was good and showed a measure of generosity, but they gave from their surplus. They had to do with less, but they didn’t have to do without.
2. The Widow Gives All That She Has Among the crowd was a widow who placed two small coins in the treasury box. It was all that she had. She held nothing back for herself. Her poverty encouraged her to trust in God’s providence. Our tendency is to trust in ourselves and material things. We look for security in wealth, which might draw us away from God. Poverty strips us of material props and will draw us towards God alone.
3. God Sees the Smallest Act of Charity The widow’s coins were not too small for God to notice. He sees everything and values everything according to its intrinsic worth. We often see just the outward appearance of things. To us, the one who put the most in the treasury box would have been the most generous. We might not even have noticed the widow that day. On God’s scales, however, the widow gave more than all the others, because she gave all she had. God loves the generosity of those who give without measure. This is how God loves us: Jesus didn’t measure out his generosity on the cross, but gave everything to free us from sin.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus help me to be generous. Help me to be free of needless worries about material things and to trust you and your providence. Many times I feel that I should be giving more. Help me to respond to the desires that you are encouraging in my heart. Help to replace my worries with an unbounded love and confidence in you.
Resolution: I will reflect on my current level of giving. Am I as generous in supporting the Church and evangelization as Jesus wants me to be?