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Praise the Lord, my soul! — Psalm 146:1b
Mass Readings: 1 Kings 17:10-16/Hebrews 9:24-28/Mark 12:38-44 or 12:41-44
Today’s Old Testament and Gospel readings focus on the faith-filled generosity of two poor widows. In the Phoenician town of Zaraphath, the prophet Elijah randomly asked a woman for water and bread. Though on the verge of starvation, the widow agreed. She believed Elijah’s promise that the Lord would provide for her and her son. The widow in Mark’s Gospel story was also destitute. Jesus gives high praise for her puny contribution to the Temple treasury — two small coins. This woman, He explains, gave everything she had.
In fact, few of us would imitate — or even endorse — the widows’ generosity. We believe in the doctrine that “God helps those who help themselves.” Actually, God really doesn’t disagree with that. However, once needs are met, does our giving hurt? God and Scripture say it should.
Prayer: God, Our Father, help me to learn to really give, to give until it hurts.
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