Elementor #1665

To give or not to give?

Hello, I’m not so good at keeping up with my blog, sometimes it’s because I can’t think about a subject. So, since I enjoy doing Bible reflections, I’ve decided to reflect each week on the next Sunday’s readings and blog on that. I hope you enjoy them—and I hope to keep up with it. God bless you for reading. Thank you.

Nov. 7, 2021, Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Kings 17:10-17; Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10 (1b); Hebrews 9:24-28; and Mark 12:38-44

Both the first reading from 1st Kings and the Gospel speak about the generosity and faithfulness of poor widows.

The first reading tells about a widow collecting sticks to prepare the last meal for her son and herself. She is approached by Elijah who asks for a cup of water, which she quickly goes to retrieve but is interrupted when he also asks for a small cake of bread. She tells him that because of the famine she has only enough flour and oil to make her son’s and her last meal.

He tells her to first get what he has asked for and then she can prepare something for her son and herself. He then promises that the Lord will make sure that her flour and oil will not run out.

She does as he requests, and her flour and oil last until the famine has ended.

In the Gospel, after Jesus warns against the hypocrisy of the scribes, he observes a poor widow who deposits into the Temple treasury two small coins, worth about a penny. He comments that she had given more than any of the others who were dropping large amounts into the collection.

How could a couple of pennies be worth as much or more than hundreds of dollars? Well, we know that Jesus can multiply—like the fish and loaves from which he fed a crowd of thousands.

I believe, also, that God multiplies on a grander scale the gifts that are made out of generosity and complete trust. Both these widows gave all they had to God’s ministries. They did not give from their surplus but from their need. The others were probably tithing—giving ten percent of their income, which sounds generous until you realize that means they kept ninety percent for themselves.

But, giving ten percent of one’s income is generous! And to many, it takes their full paycheck to survive. But imagine how many needs would be met if everyone trusted God enough to give ten percent of their surplus to his ministries.

In God’s book, I think that ten percent might just be the beginning of a godly practice. We need to practice in small ways to take that big step if it’s ever asked of us.

One widow was asked and the other gave without being asked. They had to trust God for their next meal, their next “paycheck,” for they had nothing left—they gave it all. I wonder if my faith is that strong. Could I give knowing I had nothing for the next day?

Could I? Could you?