Readings 20141124

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net

Do you know the joy of selfless giving and love for others? True love doesn’t calculate – it spends lavishly! Jesus drove this point home to his disciples while sitting in the temple and observing people offering their tithes. Jesus praised a poor widow who gave the smallest of coins in contrast with the rich who gave greater sums. How can someone in poverty give more than someone who has ample means?

Jesus’ answer is very simple – love is more precious than gold or wealth! Jesus taught that real giving must come from the heart. A gift that is given with a grudge or for display loses its value. But a gift given out of love, with a spirit of generosity and sacrifice, is precious. The amount or size of the gift doesn’t matter as much as the cost to the giver. The poor widow could have kept one of her coins, but instead she recklessly gave away all she had! Jesus praised someone who gave barely a penny – how insignificant a sum – because it was everything she had, her whole living.

What we have to offer may look very small and not worth much, but if we put all we have at the Lord’s disposal, no matter how insignificant it may seem, then God can do with it and with us what is beyond our reckoning. Do you give out of love and gratitude for what God has already given to you?

“Lord Jesus, your love knows no bounds and you give without measure. All that I have comes from you. May I give freely and generously in gratitude for all that you have given to me. Take my life and all that I possess – my gifts, talents, time and resources – and use them as you see fit for your glory.”

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com  

ALL FOR THE ONE  
“She from her want has given what she could not afford.” —Luke 21:4   There’s an old joke about a man who leaves Church complaining to his son about the lousy music, the pastor’s poor homily, the stone-faced parishioners, and all the other things he dislikes about his Church. At that point, the son pipes up and says: “Gosh, Dad, I thought it was a good show for a quarter!”

One who is stingy and miserly with God “brings ruin on himself” (Sir 14:9). He or she is the real loser, not the Lord, Who has everything. In one sense, we get from our relationship with the Lord what we put into it (2 Cor 9:6). Jesus, however, is especially interested in “all-giving.” He declares: “None of you can be My disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions” (Lk 14:33). We can’t give all until we have given up all. We don’t just give our possessions; we give our needs, our “wants,” our desires. The poor widow gave from her want (Lk 21:4). What is your “want”? Do you want wealth, financial freedom, a new car, sexual fulfillment, popularity, or vacations? Renounce these and give them all up to Jesus. At this level of “all-giving,” we have given what we “could not afford” (Lk 21:4): our money, energy, hopes, means of support, lifestyle. When we give all, we are then empty; we “have no more” left (Jn 2:3). Jesus then fills us with a miraculous superabundance of His new life (see Jn 2:5ff) which comes only when we’ve emptied ourselves (see Phil 2:7). When we give it all to Jesus, He gives it all to the Father, Who fills us with new life, so through Him we “may be all in all” (1 Cor 15:28).  

Prayer: Father, use me according to Your will. I am all Yours. Promise: “They are pure and follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” —Rv 14:4 Praise: St. Andrew Dung-Lac, a Vietnamese priest, was beheaded in 1839 for his faith in Jesus. He was canonized in 1988.   (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)   

Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014.†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 24, 2014.  The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements

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