O God, You have chosen the apostles to make disciples of all nations and by baptism and confirmation have called all of us to build up Your Holy Church.
ll the readings today speak about giving.
In the first reading we find a widow giving something to eat and drink to prophet Elijah. In the second reading we find Jesus giving Himself as a sacrifice. He is the priest and the sacrificial lamb.
In the Gospel, Jesus brings to our attention the difference between two types of giving. He notices the giving of the widow and appreciates her giving. It does not mean that other people were not giving. All people who came there were contributing to the treasury, but Jesus brings out the difference in their giving—the scribes and most of other people were giving out of their abundance.
In fact, they were looking around who all are watching their giving, or does the media cover it, or the bulletin will advertise it. This form of giving is called the "Act of Giving". They just do it as part of the routine.
But in the case of the widow, her state of being itself is giving. She cannot but give. She realizes that she has not brought anything into this world. Whatever she has, and whatever she is, is accumulated from this world.
When compared to what she has accumulated, she feels that she was giving very little—practically nothing. This kind of giving is called graceful giving. Because her state of being itself is open to giving, when she opens her heart to giving, she feels that the divine grace is flowing into her. Her giving helps her to fill herself with divine grace. She does not have any other intention in her giving. One of the mystics calls this as state of giving and the first one as the Act of giving.
While the rich made a great show of their gifts, she had only two small coins to give. She quietly slipped in among the crowd, seeking no oneís notice, but she was noticed by Christ. This is our choice: the applause of men, or the praise of God? Friends, we are supposed to grow into this state of giving. Which means our existence itself, or our state of being itself, is giving.
Sometimes it is easy for us to get caught up in, what others have—what they are doing or saying. We fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others. It causes nothing but anguish. God does not compare us to others. He loves us. He made us as we are, with our unique combination of talents and abilities.
It is said, that, "He measures our generosity, not by what we give, but by what we hold back for ourselves." Remember, the happiest are not those who have everything but those who give everything they have.
So let us see how generous we are? Do I realize that I came to this world without anything, and whatever I have is accumulated from here? If I have received all what I have and what I am today, my state of being should be more of giving.
Let us pray Lord, help us to stop comparing ourselves to others. Help us to see the good You want us to do today. Let me see the things Iím holding on to and that which is keeping me from You. You have given us everything. We want to return Your gifts in full with interest.