Saturday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Boniface, Martyr (675-+754) Patron Saint of Germania and England
Book of Tobit 12:1, 5-15, 20, Psalm (Tobit 13), & Mark 12:38-44
'The Widow's Mite' by João Zeferino da Costa, circa 1876.
Over the years, I have written daily reflections for my parish, Saint Mary Magdalen, and the Malvern Retreat House. On several occasions, I have been asked if I have a favorite piece of Sacred Scripture that I most enjoy writing or talking about. A difficult question, indeed. However, today's Gospel narrative and specifically Jesus' teaching is quite extraordinary. It is the account of the poor widow placing two small coins into the temple treasury, and Jesus praised her because the coins she donated were from "her poverty." The rich and powerful, Jesus explained, donated from their surplus wealth. Therefore, the widow had done more than the well-to-do folks did who donated from their excess.
Today's Gospel story reminded me of an incident I experienced when I was a youngster. At my parish, I did volunteer work and received no payment for my efforts. I mentioned this to an adult friend who gave me some advice that, well, stung a bit. He said something like, "You might cherish your efforts even more if you don't reveal (brag) what you did." He was exactly right. At one level, I had convinced myself that what I was doing was encouraging people to do likewise. But there was another level at which I was hoping that people would say, "Wow, what a great kid for spending time in doing what he did." With that breakthrough, I enjoyed my efforts even more.
Friends, sometimes it is unavoidable that attention will be drawn to you if you make a sacrifice and helps others. However, don't let yourself be the one to draw attention to it, and I guarantee it will make you feel even better.
Questions of the Day: What is your favorite Bible passage? How has it made you a better person for God?
Prayer: "Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it in eternity, says the Lord. Amen." (Mt. 10-39)