Monday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Cecilia— (c. +230), Virgin and Martyr, Patron Saint of Hymns, Great Music, and Poets
Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20, Psalm (Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56), & Luke 21:1-4
What does the poor widow in today's Gospel narrative have to do with the vision in the Book of Revelation? The vision speaks of those who follow the Lamb, "on their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished."
We associate a lamb with gentleness and meekness; simple, joyful innocence. As Christians, we also associate a Lamb with Jesus, "who is meek and humble of heart," who was unblemished by deceit and sacrifices everything for our sake.
The widow offered her "whole livelihood" for the sake of love. Jesus tells us today that it is not what we offer out of our excess, but what we offer out of our need that communicates love. We are all "poor." We all share the same human conditions, from our poverty, from our weakness that we can do the most because then we are most free of our egos.
If we love and give for our sakes—to be recognized, praised, and in control, then our loving/giving is not free of deceit or unblemished. Only when we let go of our desire for attention, esteem, and power do we genuinely love and accord our whole livelihood over our very selves.
As we come to the end of this liturgical year, it is good to remember what Jesus' sacrifice meant and what the poor widow's sacrifice meant. Do we sacrifice ourselves in the same way? Would we love and give our whole livelihoods without considering cost, risk, reputation, esteem, control, and follow the Lamb, or Lord Jesus Christ?
Question of the Day: As we wind down the month of November, which is dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls, will you offer your prayers as an act of charity, as an act of love, to all those who have no one to pray for them?
Prayer: "The Lamb who is at the center of the throne will lead them to the springs of the waters of life. (Rev. 7:17)