201511108 - Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted Nov 3, 2015, 1:43 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated Sep 9, 2016, 9:34 PM ]

Gospel of Mark 12: 38-44

Sheila's Reflection

A penny for your thoughts...

In this weeks gospel the widow gave her last pennies in alms giving to the church. There is no doubt that her thoughts were on God.

Pretend that your wallet had twenty one dollar bills during Mass. Giving $1 is a relatively no sweat and takes little thought. Don't you think God deserves a lot more thought and maybe even a little sweat?

Giving more money than what we are comfortable with puts our thoughts on God. When we direct our thoughts to God, our thoughts turn into unconditional love. Our love is transformed into faith. Our faith sustains us (in good time and in bad) during our lifelong journey with Christ.

Giving alms is like exercise. It can be very difficult to start. When you finally do start, you feel more energized and better about yourself. You never regret giving just a little bit more. As matter of fact, you walk away feeling good about the effort you made and you (literally) walk away just a little bit stronger.

Exercise more alms giving. Break a spiritual sweat by digging deep. Strengthen your faith by trusting in God and that He will always provide you with what you need.

Kat's Reflection

A common saying is, 'fake it to make it'. Although this can be a positive thing when it comes to building one's self confidence, it can also mean that people dwell in being fake and never try to become genuine in their thoughts and actions.

Today's gospel causes me to reflect on stewardship; time, talent and treasure. My parents taught me that when you give, you give with your hearts because God will give back to you tenfold. Even Fr. Geoffrey tells us to pray about our offering before coming to Mass. We don't do it in the pews before collection. I believe he wants us to do it with our hearts and not just put "whatever" in the basket. The widow in the gospel gave her last pennies and offered them to God. She had nothing and gave everything. Jesus said that she put in more even though she contributed the least. How many times do we do that with our time, talent and treasure?

Growing up in a large family, we always had to try to live within our means. This was hard for me when I was in high school. I went to a private school and while I was there, felt the need to fit in. I recall asking for a dress for the Christmas Ball. I needed a dress that didn't look like everyone else's and it had to be one of a kind. I found my dress, but it was over $250! I begged my parents to buy it for me even though I knew they didn't have money budgeted for something of this amount. Most of the money we had was to feed and clothe us, but not for a dress this expensive at Christmas time. I knew I could've bought or even borrowed a dress that was less expensive. However, I needed to be "in" and show that I too could have new and better things. I wore that dress twice. I don't even recall getting a compliment on that dress. In then end, it didn't matter. I know now, that I just wanted to show off and show that I had more than I really did.

Now, having grown up a few years more, I realize that material, worldly things are not what I'm supposed to be concerned about. I myself can go without the "nicer" things in life. I'm trying to instill this in my children. I'd like them to know that they should be happy with what they have and to offer everything they have up to the Lord. It's easier said than done. We are constantly reminded of the "newer" or "better" through television, radio, magazines and social media. We always want more than what we have. Having said that, I think about where my stewardship is rooted from. Why do I teach Faith Formation and Confirmation? When I give to the church, can I give more? Do I give from my "surplus" or do I give of my whole self? I hope to think that I give of my whole self and from the heart. When I plan my classes, I think wholeheartedly of my class. I think of my students and wonder the best way to get the lesson through to them in the short amount of time we have together. I try not to teach directly from a book. That is too easy...that would be teaching from my surplus. Not saying that it's wrong, but I know I can do more.

The next time we are asked to give of time, talent or treasure, we should ask ourselves; are you genuine in your actions and words? What is your heart's intent? Are our friendships 50/50? Do we give back to our friends what we receive from them or do we just give to expect something in return? Do you contribute from your surplus or can it be more than that? Do you live within your means? Or do you show off and pretend to be or have things you do not so that you aren't looked down on.

I hope to give so much more that. I hope that we can all do so too.