MONDAY HOMILY: 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR A
THEME: GOD KNOWS THE MOTIVE OF THE GIVER.
By: Fr. Karabari Paul
‘And He said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.’
The Gospel of today (Luke 21:1-4) presents the story of a poor widow who put two copper coins described as all the living that she had. If Jesus had not commended this woman’s gift, most of us would have condemned it. We would say that it was unnecessary, because surely God wouldn’t require a gift from one so poor. It also was useless, since the temple didn’t need this pittance. And, it was presumptuous, because to give away everything was to tempt God by giving away what He had already supplied for her basic needs. Why would Jesus speak so highly of her gift?
So many people don’t have to adjust their lifestyles to give large amounts. But this widow may have gone hungry that night because she gave. She gave everything she had to live on.
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Most of us give God the leftovers. If we have anything left after we have spent the rest not just for our needs, but also for many nice extras, then we drop a bit in the plate. Or, if it is something old that we don’t need, we will donate it to the church or to missions. Very many people use St Vincent De Paul group as their waste disposal team. They remember them when there are old shoes, clothes and stuff needed to get rid of.
The Lord knew the selfish motives of the religious leaders who gave large amounts to the temple, but they did it to be honored by men (Matt. 6:1-4). Jesus condemned them for their hypocrisy. But He commended this poor widow, who didn’t even know that He saw her give. Jesus knew her motives. She gave to express her devotion to God. It was an act of worship. Some of us stop coming to Church because we feel that we aren’t much honoured and our donations not appreciated. Or simply we were left out when some members were given awards.
God isn’t after our money. He’s after our hearts. He wants us to love Him first of all. He knows that our hearts are inseparably bound up with our money. As Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). Your heart follows your treasure. Motive means everything in giving. God loves a cheerful giver who gives out of love and gratitude to Him. We shouldn’t give out of pressure to meet needs.
This poor widow wasn’t giving because of pressure or impulse. Rather, she gave out of routine faithfulness. When she went to worship at the temple, she gave as a matter of “holy habit.” The widow’s gift dislodges the excuse, “We’ll give when we get enough money.” No, you won’t! Giving is a mind-set. If you don’t figure out ways to give faithfully when you are poor, you won’t give when you have got more. You can always find some way to give something if you have a mind to be faithful to God.
There were many Passover worshipers coming into the Temple that day, dropping their donations into the boxes. Probably none of them noticed Jesus sitting there. But He noticed each one of them, including this anonymous widow. She didn’t know Jesus was watching her until she got to heaven, where she was richly rewarded. He not only knew how much she gave, but in His omniscience, He even knew that it was all she had to live on. The same is true today, each time we give to the Lord: He is watching. He doesn’t miss a single gift, small or large. He knows every giver, rich and poor. People may give anonymously, not noticed by men. But the Lord Jesus knows each one. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world and land, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.
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