Monday, Thirty Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Rev 14:1-5; Ps 24:1-6; Lk 21:1-4
THE PARADOX OF CHARITY
In today’s gospel incident of the widow’s offering, we see the blessing of poverty. The poor widow truly loves God, for she gives him all that she has. But the rich Pharisees, tossing in a part of their surplus, have no understanding of love. Any person dealing with voluntary offerings to charitable causes can confirm this paradox. It is not the rich who give the most to the Church or to other charitable causes. The poor carry a much greater share of the burden. There are exceptions to this, but anyone with experience can tell you that the poor and the needy are the ones who give generously. This has not changed since the day Christ observed the generosity of the poor widow in the Temple.
Is not this the obvious reason for the great inequalities between the rich and the poor? If the rich had a sense of charity in proportion to the generosity of so many of their poor brethren, how much of human suffering would be alleviated.
No wonder, then, that Jesus spoke so often and in such strong words about the danger of riches. And no wonder that he always showed a preference for the poor. Throughout the Old Testament, God showed his special love for the poor, the abandoned, the suffering and the needy. The book of Psalms is a ringing testimony to God’s love for the poor, the forsaken, the man whom no one else cares for.
The liturgy of the word invites us to give to the needy. Especially during this time of the pandemic, when many are without basic needs, let us be a little more generous. Each time we give to the Lord, he is watching. He does not miss a single offering, small or large. He knows every giver, rich and poor. People may give anonymously, not noticed by men. But let us not forget the Lord’s promise that he who sees what is done in secret, will grant the just reward.
Responsorial Psalm: These are the people who seek your face, O Lord.
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