Monday, November 22, 2021

Generosity is a Kingdom Value

 “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” Luke 21:1-4

The story of the Widow's Mite should be very reassuring for all of us. Imagine if how much we gave was the measure of our pleasing God? Then would not Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have the biggest chance of making God happy even if they gave a mere 1/1000th of their wealth? As it is, ALL OF US can and should try to make God happy.

Jesus was watching the poor widow as she put her 2 small coins. It didn't matter to Him that what she sacrificed was equivalent to a few minutes of work at minimum wage. What was important was He saw her heart. He saw her faith in action, that she knew she had a rich Father in heaven who would take care of her. 

The same story in Mark 12:41 reads “..and he saw HOW the people put the money into the treasury.” The “how” (pos) in this passage means “in what way.” We should remember Jesus is also watching when we make our check to give our tithes, when we give alms, when we give our time for God’s work. It matters not the amount. It matters what is in our heart. William Barclay said “The amount of the gift never matters so much as its cost to the giver, not the size of the gift but the sacrifice.”

Yesterday was Christ the King Sunday, instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in response to the secularism, the atheistic and totalitarian regimes of that time.

Christ came to establish His Kingdom. His Kingdom is not like the Kingdoms of this world. People admire philanthropists who give millions to charity. Would they see, like Jesus, the poor widow who gave 2 copper coins? Would they laud her for it? Mother Teresa was always praising the poor she served. She had witnessed first hand how they were generous with the little that they had. When she would give rice and food, either the mother or a child would run out with half of what Mother Teresa brought, to share with another destitute family. Generosity is a Kingdom value. If we want Jesus to reign in our hearts, we have to have him reign over our wallets and checkbooks as well!

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:^) Patsy