CYCLE I: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE ATTITUDE OF GIVING
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Lk. 21. 1-4) Monday of the Thirty Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus observed how people were offering in the temple. There were the rich who gave a lot but mostly from their surplus. But Jesus praised a widow who put two coins from her poverty. Quantity wise, the wealthy gave more. But relatively, the widow gave more. She gave out of her poverty. Those two coins meant a lot to Jesus.
I remember a story which I had told a lot of times. It involves not a poor widow but an ordinary household help. She was donating a fifth of her salary a month for ten months for the construction of our new church. Her story left me in awe. When I asked her why she was donating that much when she supports a family in the province and she had to support herself. She said, “I had told my husband and children that I had decided to help in building our parish church. In doing so, some sacrifice must be made. I told them that it will be a worthy sacrifice.” “Father, when the church is done, it will serve as a place where sacraments will be celebrated. Graces will pour on people. many will be forgiven, married, baptized, confirmed… In other words, many will be saved. For the small amount I am sharing as a donation, it will be worth it!” What an attitude! She sees her donation not a loss but a great opportunity to help and be part of the salvation of others.
Jesus looks not at the quantity of what we give but the intention we bring with it. We cannot expect to deceive Jesus because He sees our hearts and He knows what are in our minds. If the amount of what we give will be the only basis for goodness, then, only the rich and the generous will gain God’s favour. Fortunately it does not work that way. God is more concerned of the heart we bring with our acts specially in charity.
There are a lot of people, just like during the time of Jesus, who do acts of charity whether for calamities, the homeless, the city dwellers, the sick, those in prison, etc. If you are one of them, how do you compare with the poor widow? What the poor widow deed was the extreme. But the point of Jesus was more on our attitude. Do we give because we want to do away with those who ask who can be irritant at times? Do we give because we want to be praised or recognized? Do we give to add another feather to our cap, meaning, for us to tap our shoulders and feel good?
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