07 November 2015

POSSESS LITTLE AND GIVE IT ALL

XXXII SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
1 kings 17:10-16; hebrews 9:24-28; mark 12:38-44

in the late 70s, a young man walked into church one evening with his first salary… a thousand green. after communion, the parish priest announced a collection for the new parish school. when the ushers reached the man, he put his salary envelope into the collection!
sharing about the incident a few years ago, he said: «fr vinod, i didn’t know from where my next meal would come. but i put my entire salary into the collection. i was reckless! today i make several times that amount. but i’m sure i won’t repeat that action.» he added a very profound statement: «when we possess much, we find it difficult to give it all.»

perhaps, that is true. the reverse is certainly true in today’s readings!
the widow of zarephath gave everything she had for GOD’s work: she gave her son’s and her last meal to a foreigner, the prophet elijah (whose GOD she did not even worship). she possessed very little—only a handful of flour and a little oil»; she gave everything. and GOD provided for her!
the widow in the temple offered two of the smallest coins in circulation. but in the arithmetic of the kingdom, the widow’s mite is worth more than all the other contributions. while the others gave from their surplus, she «contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.» GOD must have provided for her.


the two widows possessed almost nothing but gave everything they had… implicitly trusting that GOD would provide for them. 
if these poor widows could give everything to GOD, if a young man could give his whole salary for GOD’s work, what about me: what am i going to put into the «temple treasury» this sunday morning? will i be recklessly generous trusting in divine providence?

true generosity is measured not by what we give, but by what we have left over after we give.