November 24, 2006
Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and companies, martyrs. Memorial
Luke 21: 1-4
When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, "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."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, thank you for your generous love. Be my light and guide in every word and deed, my joy and peace in every trial.
Petition: Lord, grant me the grace always to see the good in your plan for my life.
1. Do Not Be Afraid
“She gave everything that she possessed. Yet she had a great deal because she had God in her heart. To possess God in the soul is worth all of the gold in Solomon’s mines. Who has ever given more than this widow who left nothing for herself?” (St. Augustine, Sermon 107 A) The widow’s love for God was so great that she gave her last two coins to the Temple treasury and abandoned herself completely to God’s merciful care. She had no fear. We should have this same trust in God. Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in today, we should abandon ourselves to God with no fear, for he has the one and only true plan for our lives.
2. Twists and Turns
The rollercoaster of life takes many twists and turns. We can never be sure what is ahead of us and what we will need in the future. Nonetheless, we should be reassured by God’s promise that he will give us what we need in the moment that we need it. God, in his infinite mercy, supplies us with the exact amount of grace we need for dealing with our joys and sorrows each day. He grants us grace for the present moment. We should never have fear of what the future might hold. Jesus knows our needs. When we abandon ourselves to his care in the same way that the widow abandoned herself to God, we will truly know the depth of his love and protection.
3. Homeward Bound
The widow’s heart was centered on God. She wanted to give him something. What could she give him that would glorify his holy name? She shuffled up to the Temple treasury box and dropped in her last two coins. The sound of those two small coins clinking together as they dropped into the box resounded in Jesus’ heart and filled it with joy. Those two small coins had great worth in the light of eternity. The world offers material comforts, the appeal of success and the applause of others, but our life only truly has meaning with God. Every day, when we make decisions, we should make them in light of what they mean for our eternal salvation. We need to ask ourselves, “Will this help me get to heaven?”
Conversation with Christ: Lord, may my actions today make your heart sing with joy. Help me to make my decisions in the light of eternity. Let me choose only what is good and noble, holy and pure.
Resolution: Today, before I make any important decisions, I will stop and spend time in prayer.
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