♥ NOT about the WHAT, the HOW MUCH, & the FROM WHOM of the Gift.
1. This is not about the Widow’s example of giving “all she had, her whole livelihood.” The widow, giving her last penny, is not our model of giving.
Why? She was being plundered by the religious leaders of her time! Jesus described these leaders when he said “they devour the houses of the widows.” Jesus’ intention is to criticize the scribes who make use of the legal provisions of their religion to exploit the widows. No, the exploited widow, who is a victim of religious abuse, is not our model.
2. This is not about the amounts of the gift given. This is not about the large sums given by the wealthy versus the two small coins or the “two cents worth” of donation given by the widow. God is not concerned about the amounts given.
This is not about the issue of where the gifts come from, that is, from the surplus of the rich versus the gifts from the poor. God is not concerned whether the gifts come from those who have or from those who have not or those who have little.
Part II. WHAT THIS IS ABOUT
1. It is about The WHY and the WHEN of the giving.
♥On WHY or the intention of the giving, we should note that the gospel episode is a condemnation of the givers, who believe they can give lengthy prayers or material donations to God, to please Him even if they devour the houses of “the widows,” that is, even if they continue to do evil. It is a subtle yet pointed attack, on the hypocrisy of worshipping God, despite evil and unjust behavior.
♥As to the WHEN of the giving, note that the woman gave at a time in her life when she was a widow – that is, at a time when she was of great want. And having lost her husband, this was not just material want, it was also social, emotional and spiritual in nature.
2. It is also ABOUT OUR LIVING & GIVING.
Having said these, who among us is not in need? Who among us have not gone through our personal “widowing time”? Who among us has not experienced the loss of a loved one, the need for material means to live from day to day for our family, the need for social justice, and the need for God’s love and blessings.
♥ Indeed, we all go through what we may call the widow’s time. Man or woman, boy or girl, we all share this widow’s time, so to speak. And it is in this widowing time of our lives when our giving can truly glorify God.
Part III. HEART OF GIVING:
STEPS TO GLORIFY GOD BY GIVING
1. GIVE GROUND to God. Yield to God’s power. Let God be God in your life. A saying goes, “Keep things in your hands and lose them all. Surrender them to God’s hands and possess all.”
2. GIVE OVER your sins to God. Entrust yourself to God’s loving mercy. Let go of selfishness & pride. Do you reconcile with God through the Sacrament of Confession? Please do. Do this giving frequently.
3. GIVE UP old attitudes and habits that give opportunities to evil. Remember, God judges what we give by what we keep. We can’t give to God and keep our sinful ways at the same time.
4. GIVE IN to inclinations to do good. Recognize, listen and amplify your good promptings. There’s a heroic giver inside you, yes, even though you are going through your widowing phase in life.
FORGIVE. Let go of stumbling blocks to healing & joy.
6. GIVE OF YOURSELF to the service of God and others. Devote your time, talents & treasures to bettering your relations with God through a life of service. Mother Teresa of Calcutta reminds us. If you give what you do not need, it isn’t giving at all.
7. GIVE A GOOD ACCOUNT of yourself. Behave creditably as a Christian Catholic. Witness to your noble identity.
8. GIVE BACK your blessings to God. Be a responsible steward.
9. GIVE THANKS. Be the Eucharist to the world. Be thankful. Be a cause of thanksgiving to God for others.
Remember, when you glorify God by giving, a miracle happens.
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