“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.” Please take a close look at today’s Gospel. Jesus, our Master Teacher, strongly chastises us when we place our intentions on all the wrong things. Admiration and adulation from the people around us with long liturgical robes are not what people need.
I came across an article recently that spoke of the deep spiritual hunger that is expressed in various ways in contemporary society. These are hungers for understanding and meaning in life, for connection with God and others, and centered living that flows from inner peace. The article pointed out that people come to church for these things and do not remain if they do not find it. More than ritual and formalities, people are looking for authenticity and genuine lives of integrity that are centered in Christ. That is what Church is supposed to be about. The scribes were committed to self-serving interests and Jesus simply cannot accept their behavior.
The poor widow in the Gospel represents the many ways that people donate time, talent and treasure without receiving public acclamation and adulation. They are unsung heroes whose hearts are alive and vibrant in Christ. They are anonymous and silent. It is these people that Jesus recognizes as messengers for the Kingdom of God. In the eyes of Jesus, these people are outstanding in their faith-filled goodness and generosity. In the eyes of the world, they are considered unworthy of attention. They are poor widows. In God’s eyes, their hearts are in the right place.
They are many who feel like the poor widow in today’s Gospel. Life can be very challenging and lonely for them at times. Their greatest source of strength and support is from their faith. They don’t appear to have worldly power and status. To the world they appear to be irrelevant. To God, they are missionary disciples. Thank God for the “poor widows” in our midst.
Our Lady of Lourdes is blessed by the generosity of time, talent, treasure from our parishioners and friends. You are constantly asked to contribute to one thing or another. Well, I join with the parish pastoral staff in thanking God for the blessings you bring to the parish. Today, Sunday, Nov. 11 we invite you to sit down at the table and be served by us. Thank you for registering and coming to this simple banquet. The parishioners and staff of our vibrant parish have an enormous ministry given to us by God. Let us be nourished by some fellowship and prayers of gratitude as we boldly embrace God’s mission.
God Bless all of our parishioners and friends of the parish.
Fr. Mike Shanahan