Daily Prayer - 2015-11-23
Dear Lord, help me to be open to you
Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally,
The Word of God
Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Dn 1:1-6, 8-20
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
R. (52b) Glory and praise for ever!
Alleluia Mt 24:42a, 44
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 21:1-4
When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Saint Clement I, Pope and Martyr (Optional Memorial)
This poor widow put in more than all the rest. (Luke 21:3)
At first glance, Jesus' evaluation is ludicrous. Surely the rich donors have deposited far more than this widow's two small coins!
But with a smile, Jesus points out that generosity is measured, not by what is given, but by what is left. Others have contributed their extra, leaving themselves a comfortable cushion to live on. This widow has given everything. All she has left is trust in God's provision—and she knows that is enough. God loves her, and he will provide for her out of his glorious riches.
The key to this woman's generosity is her attitude. Whether the other people give a little or a lot, they are clearly donating what they regard as theirs. The widow, on the other hand, knows that everything she possesses belongs to God—including her own life. Secure in this relationship, she has asked the Lord, "What should you and I do with these resources that belong to you?" When she decided to place it all in the collection, surely she had no idea that her generosity would provide an object lesson for Jesus' closest friends, let alone for every generation since then.
What this woman did for the apostles the Holy Spirit wants to do for us. Every day, the Spirit gives us "object lessons"—often through the people around us. Whether it be lessons on generosity, prayer, loving people, or serving the poor, the Spirit wants to help us take on the mind of Christ. He knows that being "renewed" in our thoughts and attitudes is essential to our growth in holiness (Ephesians 4:23).
So be on the lookout for these object lessons. One man using an ATM to withdraw some cash was approached by a beggar asking for help. Over the next two weeks, he was asked for money three more times—each from a different person. At first, the man became annoyed. "Why can't they get a job?" he asked. But then, the next Sunday at Mass, he finally saw that God had been urging him to be more generous.
God gives all of us these kinds of object lessons. We just have to learn how to be more alert and listen to his voice.
"Generous and loving God, widen my heart so that I can give everything to you, holding nothing back."
Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20
Once again we have a king wanting God's people to do things their way, eat like them, dress like them, and even worship like them. It is an appropriate story from thousands of years ago that happened that still applies to this day. We live in a kingdom, where they expect you to dress some way, eat like them, and worship like them. Who's kingdom do you belong to? This is a question of the heart. And the difference is a sacrifice. What will I NOT do to be a part of His Kingdom? The men in today's 1st Holy Scripture decided to remain faithful to the Lord, and the Lord notices.
The Psalms pray with us today ""Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever" and "Glory and praise forever!". What is it when we give "glory" to God? I've said it many times, that it seems to be equal to sacrifice. What is it to give praise? To just say things? To just have them come from the mouth out? Is that what true glory and praise is? In 1 Corinthians 10:31 it says "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." It comes as an honor, and how we honor our Lord, right? But can you see the Glory of God? Scriptures says it over and over, like when St. Stephen was about to be stoned to death, he said he was seeing the Glory of God, and then he was killed.
In comes our beautiful Lord and Savior, "this poor widow...she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood." Yesterday we sang "Here I am to worship" and I was supposed to be leading the song in Mass, but I started getting choked up when I was singing the part that goes "humbly you came to the earth you created, all for love's sake became poor". This widow today, she was poor, got some coins and gave them all to the Lord and became poor again. Strange. Because in a world where we are taught to look out for ourselves and grow in richness and esteem and so forth, she does the opposite. She gives glory to God in a unique way...she gives her entire livelihood for that week, or month. Why? Because she trusts in the Lord THAT MUCH. She has THAT MUCH faith. Whereas the rest gave only so much, perhaps 10% of what they happened to carry in their pockets that day. It's as if the Lord is saying, "yes you are giving, but you can do better". So how much are you giving GLORY to God? Because we are to give of our time, how much time do we give Him, especially with our families? Because we are to give of our treasure, how much of our treasure are we giving to God before anyone or anything else? Because we are to give of our talent, how much of ourselves and our lives have we offered to Him in its truest sense? I have 2 cents right now and I will offer them:
Coin #1: Last week, I rushed home because our place was under a tornado watch and severe winds and rains and hail were all around our area. I sat with my 3 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. I could tell they were becoming more and more afraid with the thunder and wind that was hitting. I was on the couch with them alone and I said to the younger, "pray to God if you are afraid, talk to Him right now, and even ask for this rain to go away" as rain kept beating hard on the house. I heard his faint little voice and jibberish language talking to God before me and Cristian, the older brother. Andres kept looking straight, talking to the Lord, and when he stopped his jibberish prayer...the rain suddenly stopped, the winds suddenly stopped. Truth is I wasn't expecting that, I just wanted him to pray. Cristian's eyes got wide "Oh My GOSH! IT STOPPED! Andres prayed and it stopped!". I wanted to tell them that maybe it was a fluke, and that maybe the rain would come back just in case they doubted, but I pretty much left it at that. And it didn't storm anymore. Hmm. Was I the one of little faith?
Coin#2: Yesterday, Cristian brought a friend over from Mass. They played all day and wanted me to do this and that; wanted me to show them how to play the keyboard they saw me playing at Mass. They wanted batteries for their games, and the wants never stopped until their ultimate want was fulfilled...to ride Cristian's 4 wheeler. I had been putting it off all day until I gave in. I drug it out of the garage while carrying the baby. Dusted it and tried to start it, but no, battery was dying. I put the baby Adonai in the powerwheels with Andres, they drove off and I got a battery booster. Nope. No start. I got new gas to mix with the old gas. Nope. I tried everything, next step would be to start taking it apart. Just then Leo, Cristian's friend, said "let's pray!". I looked at the corner of my eye in doubt, "are ya'll really going to pray?" And they clasped their hands together, bowed their heads, I don't know if they were praying aloud because the whole time I was holding the electric starter, and the thing started coming alive and they started getting excited...and it started just fine. As it was warming up I said "when you pray, and it comes to be, you have to give thanks to God!". They rode until nearly sunset.
2 coins for you. That's all I got. I offer myself daily. I offer what the widow offers in hopes to be like her, at 100%. It's about our faith. How much are we putting into it? How much are we putting into salvation? How much are we willing to give to the Lord? This has led me to believe that praying together is powerful, and even more with those with the faith of a child. So praying with them is vitally important for you, them, and the whole world. Are you willing to give? I will serve for you as merely a starter for the Body of Christ. I have faith in your faith...
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