1 Kgs 17:10 -16; Heb 9:24-28; Mk 12:38-44
There is always a connection between the Old Testament passage and the gospel passage proclaimed during the Sunday liturgy. Rarely is it more obvious than this coming Sunday. In the words of the prophet Elijah: “Do not be afraid….For the LORD, the God of Israel says, The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil go dry.” Jesus expresses a similar point this way: “But she, from her poverty, contributed all she had.”
In other words, or at least in my words: You know you have Faith when you are willing to give away not only what you can spare, but what you can’t spare.
How hard these words are for me to hear. In the midst of the aftermath of hurricane Sandy here in the Northeastern United States, we seem to be running low on everything – food, water, electricity, gasoline, patience. And worst of all – housing. The latest estimates, which are very rough guesess at this point, puts the number of people who will have to rebuild – and there are likely numerous cases where rebuilding will not be possible – is in the tens of thousands. Yet, if I’m reading these scripture passages correctly, Jesus seems to be offering this advice as the best way to cope with our current crisis – Share what you have. Especially if you don’t think you have enough.
In the best of times, I’ve never been particularly good at this. There’s a line from a poem entitled, “The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock”, which has a ring of truth for my life that I don’t really want to admit: “I have counted out my life with coffee spoons.” Always making sure there is enough. Stretching r resouces for the sake of others I get. Giving from my surplus – OK. But from what I am certain I need?
Oh, boy. I’ll have to sit in prayer with this one for awhile.
But not too long. There is God’s work to be done.
How about you – What is Jesus calling you to give – from your time, talent or treasure – that you didn’t think you could spare? (Maybe you could give me some ideas!)
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)