LOVE-OFFERING

Monday, 34th Week in Ordinary Time          

            Today’s gospel passage has been called the story of the Widow’s Mite. Jesus saw a widow putting two small coins into the temple treasury. Probably nobody else noticed her putting in her love-offering. But Jesus noticed, and called attention to her gift-giving. He told his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury.” “For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

            Jesus is telling us that true generosity comes from the heart when we share with others in our poverty. Generosity is not to be measured absolutely by the amount we give, but relatively according to what we have left for ourselves. We must remember that what counts in the eyes of God is not the size or amount of what we give, but how much it costs us in terms of sacrifice. What counts in God’s eyes is not the size of the gift but the love with which one gives.

            When it comes to giving, some people stop at nothing. The poor widow in today’s gospel belongs to that. She gives us the great example of giving until it hurts. And this is the great challenge: for us to give until it hurts. And hopefully, until it hurts no more.

            Indeed, true giving takes a lot of faith. It takes faith to share material things when we have little for ourselves, or to volunteer our services when we do not have enough time. It takes faith to listen to others when we do not have energy, or to inspire joy in others when our own hearts feel empty. If we want to be really good, we have to learn to really give… to give until it hurts… and until it hurts no more.

            When we are linked to the God who is nothing but Gift, then, we can give and give, and never run out. But when we cling to pathetic substitutes for God – material wealth and possessions, power and influence, honor and prestige, comfort and convenience, sex and pleasure – we can hoard and hoard all we want but we will never have enough.

            “God is love” – which means, being filled with God is being filled with love. Therefore, we have God by giving God away, by giving love away. And what we give away will never run out… we will never run out of love… for we will never run out of God.

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