Monday of the 34th Week of the Year

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Someone told me, “If you’re in need of help seek it not from the rich but from the needy.” Pure rhetoric, I thought. Surely, it is more of an exception than a rule. Yet, there is some truth in saying so. The poor know what is to be poor. They understand what it is to be in great want.

Let’s take it from the tales of our elderly foreign missionaries. They attest to this fact that majority of those who generously contribute to their mission activities are people back in their home countries who are who are ordinary folks.

The poor widow in the gospel today exemplified the true spirit of love and generosity. She gave up everything she got. She knew for sure how it is to subsist on other people’s generosity. Yet this has not stopped her from giving her share.

Yes, we must never underestimate the poor’s capacity to give. To them also appropriately belong the line: “Kahit walang wala ka, kailangan mo pa ring tumulong.” (Fr. Nielo M. Cantilado, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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…..This experience made me understand why Jesus was full of praise for the poor widow who offered what she actually could not afford. Jesus as so often is gain turning upside down the value system of the world. God is not interested in how much you give, but in why you give. God does not look at the amount of the gift, but at the spirit of the giver.

….If you open your Bible and read Luke 20:46-47, the verses before today’s gospel, we come to know why the widow is so poor. It is because of the Pharisees and the scribes, ‘who devour the houses of the widows!’ social oppression and injustice are the cause for the misery of the poor. No wonder that God is not pleased with the gifts of those who offer ‘out of their abundance which they took from the poor instead of sharing what they have with them.

And here another lesson; before we make big donations to the Church or to charities, let us ask ourselves whether we have done enough to alleviate the misery of the have-nots whom Christ is asking us to serve. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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James Dobson tells about a friend of his who was constantly irritated by his three-year old daughter. Fist, his friend saw her wastefully decorating a box with an expensive wrapping paper. Then on Christmas morning, his daughter presented to him the box which was empty. The father yelled at her, “Don’t you know, when you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside of it?” Her daughter with tears said, “Daddy it’s not empty. I blew kisses in the box.  I filled it with love, all for you, Daddy.” The father, chastised, reached for her daughter, hugged her and begged her for forgiveness.”

The widow in the gospel today did something similar. Her two coins could hardly buy a small plastic of mineral water, but she gave them away anyway. “She gave all she had to live on,” not considering where her next meal would come. Would Jesus who saw what the woman did leave her to die of hunger? Would the Creator of all things and the Lord of the universe be outdone in generosity and goodness? “Man does not live by bread alone” was live out by the widow in the gospel. For her God’s kingdom came first. Therefore the promise of Jesus was the woman’s reward, “All the other things will be given to you.”

Many of us give out of our abundance. We give away used clothing, used toys, used furniture, used shoes, etc. I personally give away extra things which I do not need, new and old. But I don’t feel heroic about it. I feel I should thank those who receive them, for helping me clean up my place.

On the other hand, when I go out of my comfort zone to visit the sick, poor families, to organize reluctant leaders of communities, join PPCRV….then it hurts. then I begin to realize what giving is all about according to the mind of Jesus. (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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John D. Rockefeller, Sr. was strong and husky when small. Early on he was determined to earn money and drove himself to the limit. At age 33, he earned his first million dollars. At age 43, he controlled the biggest company in the world. At age 53, he was the richest man on earth and the world’s only billionaire.

Then he developed a sickness called “alopecia,” in which the hair of his head dropped off, his eyelashes and eyebrows disappeared and he shrunk like mummy. His weekly income was one million dollars but he digested only milk and crackers.

He was so hated in Pennsylvania that he had to have bodyguards day and night. He could not sleep, stopped smiling long since and enjoyed nothing in life. The doctors predicted he would not live over one year. The newspapers had gleefully written his obituary in advance just in case all of a sudden….

Those sleepless nights set him thinking. He realized with a new light that he “could not take one dime the next world.” Money was not everything. The next morning found him a new man. He began to help churches with his amassed wealth; the poor and needy were not overlooked. He established the Rockefeller Foundation whose funding of medical researches led to the discovery of penicillin and other wonder drugs.

John D. began to sleep well, eat and enjoy life. The doctors had predicted he would not live over 54. John D. Rockefeller, Sr. lived up to 98!

What do we do with our money? Jesus reminds us not to give out of surplus. Let the life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. be a constant reminder for all of us. He is right: we “could not take one dime the next world.”

Let the poor widow in the gospel, let’s give until it hurts. (Fr. Glenn Paul M. Gomez, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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Remember last Christmas? Or are you thinking already of next Christmas, just one month from now? Christmas is always connected with gifts. We give and receive lots of gifts, but not all gifts are equal. We may be tempted to sneer at small gifts which don’t cost much and appreciate very much costly gifts. We recycle gifts for someone we do not appreciate so much and go through a lot of thinking and searching to find and buy a gift for someone very dear to us. Involved here is always the giver, the receiver, the gift.

As always, Jesus is a shocker who turns our world and our way of thinking upside down. The giver in today’s gospel is a poor widow, the gift is practically worthless and the receiver is the creator and ruler of the universe. We would expect that Jesus sneers at so small a gift to so great a receiver. But no! He praises the widow and finds her gift more precious that what others put into the collection box. Why?

Ha, there comes the kick! It is not the amount of the gift that counts but the spirit of the giver. That poor widow gave herself; she allowed herself to be given to Him who has everything. What had been given to her, small as it may be, she gave it all back.

We often complain about having not enough money, not enough of this and not enough of that. But we forget easily that what has been given to us is enough to give to Him who gave it to us. And we give it to Him by giving it to others.

Christmas 2007 – another chance to think differently about gifts, giver and receiver. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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Mahatma Gandhi once remarked: “There comes a time when an individual becomes irresistible and his action all-pervasive in its effect. This comes when he reduces himself to zero.” Bishop Desmond Tutu asserted that ‘in the kingdom of God, between the victimizer and the victimized, it is always the victimized that gets the better deal.” These quotations from two great men can be applied to the story of the poor widow.

Jesus praises the poor widow for her sincere and total trust in God, not for the sorry fact the religious establishment was taking advantage of it. He glorifies the poor widow who put into the Treasury of the Temple all she had to live on – her entire means of subsistence. If God gives us the grace of entering Paradise, everyone will be quite surprised to see who will be near God and who will not be there. What a reversal of fortune it will be! How many rich people will there be in Paradise!

To have money, a house, one or two cars, very lucrative employment, none of these are bad in themselves. It is above all one’s intention that counts. It is on this intention that we will be judged. It is the intention of the widow that Jesus glorified in the eyes of his disciples: the two small coins that the widow put into the Treasury were worth her entire life! But the mountain of gold and of the other givers was worth nothing. What can God do with our gold and silver? It is our heart which God wants for Himself! Even if we have nothing, neither gold nor silver, there is still one thing that we can give to God, the only thing which has value in his eyes: our love!

Fr. Daniel Meynen, a canon law expert, rightly suggests the following: ‘Even if a priest, a religious brother or sister, a bishop, even were he, the Bishop of Rome, had nothing to give, neither gold nor silver, the most important thing would be for him to give himself with faith and love! Let us call to mind Peter, the first pope, who had neither gold nor silver but who did not hesitate to perform a healing in the name of Jesus, even at the risk of his own life. ‘I have no silver and gold but I give you what I have; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk,” (Acts 3:3-6). (Fr. Deva Savariyappan, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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Imagine showing up weekend and instead of putting money in the collection plate, you take home a crisp $100 bill. You can spend it, however, you want. There is just one catch: the preacher tells you that this money – like all your earthly possessions – is a gift from God. In 2005, fifteen churches in Nashville, Tenn. randomly distributed $50,000 given by an anonymous donor for acts of kindness.  In 1ll, 500 people received $100 bills, each with the same instruction: “use the money in the name of Jesus. Oh, and don’t take anything in return or accept any credit.” The project seemed to inspire the recipients to help their friends and those in need. While there was no guarantee the money was used for noble purposes, one pastor said, “We are far less concerned about a $100 bill being misused than in creating an opportunity for a lot more to be used appropriately.”

Let us turn to the widows offering. Imagine the scene again. Jesus sitting there at the temple treasury, studying people’s giving habits! He sat there watching “wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury.” You would think that Jesus would be impressed with that kind of generosity. He was not. But then someone caught His attention. A poor widow we are told. (Without a husband representing her, a widow had the most vulnerable status within society. She was defenseless and often impoverished). She put in two small coins. What were the worth? Around one sixty-fourth (1/64th) of a denarius (a denarius was equal to one day’s working wage). It was a mere pittance, compared to the gifts of the rich donors who visited the treasury on that day. But unlike them her gift was radical and sacrificial. She was giving her substance and not from her excess.

The difference between giving from your excess and your substance is best explained by a small story about a chicken and a pig who wanted to do something special for the farmer. The pig was none too happy when the chicken came up with the idea of making him breakfast. Eggs and bacon, the chicken giving from her excess but the pig had to give from his substance. No doubt the widow’s generosity is praiseworthy and her willingness to give out of her extreme poverty challenges every tight-fisted Christian today. The final question we should ask ourselves, as Christians in the affluent western world is, “Do we really understand the heartbeat of God towards the poor, the vulnerable and those who cannot fend for themselves like this widow? (Fr. Felix Ferrer, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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November 21, 2016 Monday

Every year, during harvest time, we do the “Blessings of the Harvest” in the villages of our parish in Benin, West Africa to thank the Lord for His blessings. We celebrate the Holy Eucharist, bless the people’s harvests before offering them during the Offertory. Everyone brings their offerings in kind or in cash. At the end of each celebration, we gather a sizeable amount in cash and several sacks of corn, yam, and fruits. These offerings are for the support of the mission and the Church.

During one of the celebrations, a poor, old and handicapped woman who lived alone in that village came and offered with joy some fruits and a small amount of money. That caught my attention and looked at her as Jesus looked at the poor widow in the gospel. She gave, from her poverty, her whole livelihood for the love of the Lord. A very touching moment for me and for most of the people inside the church.

The look of God, the appreciation of God, how different it is to the habitual look of human beings! God looks at things differently! The offerings of the wealthy people seem plenty and bountiful.

But, for Jesus, the poor widow has given more. May our admiration never center only on physical appearances and on the riches of this world, but more on the poor, the lost and the least of the society. We truly need to change our hearts. (Fr. Teofilo S. Perey, SVD | DWST, Tagaytay City Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/1028-november-21-2016-monday

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GIVING. If the essence of Christianity is in loving, the essence of loving is in giving. Therefore if we cannot be Christians without loving, we cannot be Christians without giving. The lesson for today focuses on the widow’s mite as it is traditionally called.

Three lessons about giving. First, the widow gave quietly. Unlike the wealthy people in the temple, she gave quietly, without fanfare, without attracting any attention. That quiet giving has become so extraordinary because we are a people who love attention.

Second, the widow gave cheerfully. She gave cheerfully, without grumbling, without expecting any return, without complaining. She gave cheerfully without sighing and saying: “Now I am left with nothing.” She did not even attempt to dramatize. She gave quietly and she gave cheerfully.

The third adverb about the giving of the widow is that it was total. The poor person is not the one who gives nothing. The poor person is the one who keeps everything. That is not a blessed giving. It is not a blessed poverty when we keep everything. At the sunset of life, according to St. John of the Cross, we will be judged according to how much we love. It is not how much we give but how much we keep that will determine our generosity.

Today, the Lord will give us Himself as an example again. Today let us keep on giving quietly, silently without fanfare, cheerfully with a smile, without any grudge and totally, without counting the cost. (Bp Soc Villegas, Love Like Jesus, p. 81)

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Which is better: to share a little of what one has, with a great heart, or to share much from what one has in abundance, with an “ordinary” or casual heart? I believe many of us will easily pick out the first choice! However, which is better for our community: little giving or much giving….regardless of the heart factor? If we are honest with our answer, we will say we prefer much giving! So, the issue about giving is quite tricky, isn’t it?

The short gospel story about Jesus being amused by people making their offerings to the temple treasury, which led to Jesus’ praise about the giving of the widow, is not simply a naïve teaching about “sharing a little with a great heart.” There is more to it:

  • The poor and the simple are “more generous” in spirit. The rich and the sophisticated often have so many pretensions. They give after much rationalization. They tend to justify the amount of their giving. They tend to make alibis  why they ought only to give this or that much to someone or to a cause. The poor give simply based on what they have, and on what have genuinely in their heart. Their poverty and their simplicity make them give not out of rationalization, but out of genuinely empathy.
  • Real giving is giving that comes from fasting. The widow’s copper coin offerings were meritorious, not because they were little offerings coming from a great heart. Jesus said: the widow gave out of what she had to live on. She was giving what she was sacrificing. She was giving out of what she was denying herself with. In biblical parlance, we note that these two always go together as a diptych: almsgiving and fasting. God-like giving is not simply giving with a heart. It is giving out of what you have fasted on. So, it matters not whether the giving is big or small. The greater question is: does mu giving hurt me? If it is giving without hurt, it is not giving from self, it is not a giving with love. Jesus on the cross gave out of love, and his love for us hurt Him. (Fr. Domie Guzman SPP New Every Morning New Everyday 2006 pp. 337-338)

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November 26, 2012

Blessed James Alberione
Monday of the 34th Week
GREEN

Rv 14:1-3, 4b-5
Ps 24
Lk 21:1-4

Lk 21:1-4
The Poor Widow’s Contribution  

1When [Jesus] looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury 2and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. 3He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; 4for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

REFLECTION:

Poor widow. Today’s Gospel teaches us about the true sense of giving. The poor widow offers “her whole livelihood. She does not think much about her everyday needs. She trusts God’s providence. It is a trust that is a product of years of experiencing divine generosity. Thus she herself learns to be generous and to give what matters most to her. In her kind of giving she shows how much she loves—until it hurts. She does not depend on money but on God. She loves God to the fullest that is why she gives her all. God is her wealth.

In contrast, the wealthy people who make “offerings from their surplus wealth” show that they give what is excess, something they do not greatly need. It does not hurt them to part with the kind of money they have given. They cannot make the ultimate self-sacrifice in giving. True giving is sharing what we value most without reservation, without condition. Selfless giving is giving till it hurts.

When was the last time you made a supreme sacrifice for Jesus?
What valuable offering have you given for the service of the Church? 

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/2039-november-26-2012

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America’s poor are its most generous givers

BY FRANK GREVE

McClatchy NewspapersMay 19, 2009

WASHINGTON — When Jody Richards saw a homeless man begging outside a downtown McDonald’s recently, he bought the man a cheeseburger. There’s nothing unusual about that, except that Richards is homeless, too, and the 99-cent cheeseburger was an outsized chunk of the $9.50 he’d earned that day from panhandling.

The generosity of poor people isn’t so much rare as rarely noticed, however. In fact, America’s poor donate more, in percentage terms, than higher-income groups do, surveys of charitable giving show. What’s more, their generosity declines less in hard times than the generosity of richer givers does.

“The lowest-income fifth (of the population) always give at more than their capacity,” said Virginia Hodgkinson, former vice president for research at Independent Sector, a Washington-based association of major nonprofit agencies. “The next two-fifths give at capacity, and those above that are capable of giving two or three times more than they give.”

Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest survey of consumer expenditure found that the poorest fifth of America’s households contributed an average of 4.3 percent of their incomes to charitable organizations in 2007. The richest fifth gave at less than half that rate, 2.1 percent.

The figures probably undercount remittances by legal and illegal immigrants to family and friends back home, a multibillion-dollar outlay to which the poor contribute disproportionally.

None of the middle fifths of America’s households, in contrast, gave away as much as 3 percent of their incomes.

“As a rule, people who have money don’t know people in need,” saId Tanya Davis, 40, a laid-off security guard and single mother.

Certainly, better-off people aren’t hit up by friends and kin as often as Davis said she was, having earned a reputation for generosity while she was working.

Now getting by on $110 a week in unemployment insurance and $314 a month in welfare, Davis still fields two or three appeals a week, she said, and lays out $5 or $10 weekly.

To explain her giving, Davis offered the two reasons most commonly heard in three days of conversations with low-income donors:

“I believe that the more I give, the more I receive, and that God loves a cheerful giver,” Davis said. “Plus I’ve been in their position, and someday I might be again.”

Herbert Smith, 31, a Seventh-day Adventist who said he tithed his $1,010 monthly disability check — giving away 10 percent of it — thought that poor people give more because, in some ways, they worry less about their money.

“We’re not scared of poverty the way rich people are,” he said. “We know how to get the lights back on when we can’t pay the electric bill.”

In terms of income, the poorest fifth seem unlikely benefactors. Their pretax household incomes averaged $10,531 in 2007, according to the BLS survey, compared with $158,388 for the top fifth.

In addition, its members are the least educated fifth of the U.S. population, the oldest, the most religious and the likeliest to rent their homes, according to demographers. They’re also the most likely fifth to be on welfare, to drive used cars or rely on public transportation, to be students, minorities, women and recent immigrants.

However, many of these characteristics predict generosity. Women are more generous than men, studies have shown. Older people give more than younger donors with equal incomes. The working poor, disproportionate numbers of which are recent immigrants, are America’s most generous group, according to Arthur Brooks, the author of the book “Who Really Cares,” an analysis of U.S. generosity.

Faith probably matters most, Brooks — who’s the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington policy-research organization — said in an interview. That’s partly because above-average numbers of poor people go to church, and church attenders give more money than non-attenders to secular and religious charities, Brooks found.

Moreover, disproportionate numbers of poor people belong to congregations that tithe.

Less-religious givers such as Emel Sweeney, 73, a retired bookkeeper, say that giving lights up their lives.

“Have you ever looked into the face of someone you’re being generous to?” Sweeney asked with the trace of a Jamaican lilt.

That brought to mind her encounter with a young woman who was struggling to manage four small, tired children on a bus.

They staggered and straggled at a transfer stop, along with Sweeney, who urged the mother to take a nearby cab the rest of the way. When the mother said she had no money, Sweeney gave her $20, she said. The mother, as she piled her brood into the cab, waved and mouthed a thank-you.

“Those words just rested in my chest,” Sweeney said, “and as I rode home I was so happy.”

Pastor Coletta Jones, who ministers to a largely low-income tithing congregation in southeast Washington, The Rock Christian Church, thinks that poor people give more because they ask for less for themselves.

“When you have just a little, you’re thankful for what you have,” Jones said, “but with every step you take up the ladder of success, the money clouds your mind and gets you into a state of never being satisfied.”

Brooks offered this statistic as supportive evidence: Fifty-eight percent of noncontributors with above-median incomes say they don’t have enough money to give any away.

What makes poor people’s generosity even more impressive is that their giving generally isn’t tax-deductible, because they don’t earn enough to justify itemizing their charitable tax deductions. In effect, giving a dollar to charity costs poor people a dollar while it costs deduction itemizers 65 cents.

In addition, measures of generosity typically exclude informal giving, such as that of Davis’ late mother, Helen Coleman. Coleman, a Baltimore hotel housekeeper, provided child care, beds and meals for many of her eight children and 32 grandchildren, Davis said.

Federal surveys don’t ask about remittances specifically, so it’s hard to know how much the poorest fifth sends back home. Remittances from U.S. immigrants totaled more than $100 billion in 2007, according to Manuel Orozco, a senior researcher at Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington policy institute, who specializes in remittances.

By comparison, individual giving to tax-deductible U.S. charities totaled about $220 billion in 2007.

Much of the money remitted comes from struggling U.S. immigrants such as Zenaida Araviza, 42, a Macy’s cosmetics clerk and single mother in suburban Arlington, Va.

Araviza, who earns $1,300 a month, goes carless, cable-less and cell phone-less in order to send an aunt in the Philippines $200 a month to care for Araviza’s mother, who has Alzheimer’s.

“What can I do?” asked Araviza, an attractive, somber woman. “It’s my responsibility.”

Carmen De Jesus, the chief financial officer and treasurer of Forex Inc., a remittance agency based in Springfield, Va., said low-income Filipino-Americans such as Araviza were her most generous customers.

“The domestic helpers send very, very frequently,” she said. “The doctors, less so.”

Why are they so generous? Christie Zerrudo, a cashier who handles Filipino remittances at Manila Oriental, a grocery/restaurant/remittance agency in Arlington, offered this explanation:

“It gives the heart comfort when you sit down at the end of the day, and you know that you did your part,” Zerrudo said. “You took care of your family. If you eat here, they eat there, too. It would give you stress if they couldn’t. But you love them, they are your family, and your love has had an expression.”

mcclatchydc.com/2009/05/19/68456/americas-poor-are-its-most-generous.html

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Pinoys among world’s most charitable

By Kim Arveen Patria | Yahoo Southeast Asia Newsroom – Fri, Jan 10, 2014

If a global report is to be believed, it appears Filipinos think it’s better to give than to receive.

Pinoys remained among the most charitable in the world based on a British firm’s “World Giving Index,” which ranked the Philippines in the top 20.

The Philippines rose to the 16th spot in the report released by the Charities Aid Foundation in December, compared to ranking 17th in the previous report.

Filipinos were given a “Giving Index” score of 45 percent in the report, which is based on surveys conducted in 2012. Its performance was unchanged from 2012.

Aside from being in the top 20 overall, Pinoys ranked 4th in volunteering, with 43 percent of respondents claiming to have volunteered for an organization.

Filipinos were meanwhile the 20th best performers when it comes to helping strangers, with 60 percent saying they helped someone they didn’t know.

In terms of donating money, however, the Philippines was ranked 50th globally, with only 31 percent of respondents saying they did so a month before the survey.

The report uses data from the World View Poll produced by U.S.-based pollster Gallup, which collects multi-faceted date from some 148 countries.

It said the world became more charitable in 2012 compared to the previous year “despite a continued fall in the rate of growth of the global economy.”

The increase in charitable activity, the report said was primarily driven by the growth in the number of people who said they offered help to strangers.

The U.S. topped the World Giving Index in 2013, up from 5th place in the report a year ago. It was followed by Canada, Myanmar, New Zealand and Ireland.

Australia, which topped the 2012 ranking, slipped to the 7th place in 2013. It was ranked lower than the UK but higher than the Netherlands, Qatar and Sri Lanka.

ph.news.yahoo.com/pinoys-among-world-s-most-charitable-085811003.html

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

MONDAY OF THE 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 21:1-4. UNSA MAY MAKAPAHIMONG BILILHON SA USA KA GASA O HALAD? Gidayeg ni Hesus ang biyuda nga mihulog og duha ka sensilyo sa panudlanan sa templo, apan gisaway niya ang mga adunahan nga nanghalad og dagkong kantidad. Para sa Ginoo, dili ang gidak-on sa halad maoy sukdon kondili ang gidak-on sa kasingkasing sa naghatag. Ang gasa nga nagagikan sa mga tawong tigpakaaron-ingnon ug mapasigarbohon walay bili atubangan sa Ginoo bisan pag kini dagko kaayo. Ang gasa sa biyuda gamay ra apan bililhon tungod kay giubanan kini niya’g dakong gugma ug pagsakripisyo. Sakto si Crystal Paine sa pag-ingon: “It is easy to give from our abundance, but true giving requires sacrifice.” Sa sunod natong pagdala’g halad para sa Dios o sa isigkatawo, hinumduman nato ang pobreng biyuda nga gidayeg sa Ginoo. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/11/monday-of-34th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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November 23, 2015

Monday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time

Dn 1: 1-6, 8-20, Lk 21/1-4

True giving is not in terms of profit and loss.

There is the story of a man who was irritated by his small daughter. One day he saw her decorating an empty box with an expensive gift paper. On Christmas morning she presented this empty box to him. He shouted at her, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a gift there should be something in the box?” His daughter with tears said, “Daddy it’s not empty. I blew kisses in the box. I filled it with love, all for you, Daddy.” The father, chastised, reached for her daughter, hugged her and begged her for forgiveness.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us about true giving. When we give something it should be from the heart. Those two coins put in by the widow were not of much value if we consider the worth of it in monetary terms. But if we look at them through the eyes of Jesus they are of great value. It is all about generosity in the heart. The big question today’s passage poses to us is: How generous are we really?

Instead of becoming generous in our heart, we become very calculative in our dealings. If I invest thousand rupees how much will I get in return? If I invest my time and energy for a social cause how will it be beneficial to me in earning a good name and fame? If I engage myself in religious activities how much will I get in return as spiritual benefits? This is how the calculative mind works. A generous heart will never think of the ‘giving’ in terms of profit and loss.

There is another angle to the story. Have we ever wondered why was the widow so poor that she had nothing much left with her to offer at the temple? The answer lies in the passage that precedes today’s passage. It was because the Pharisees and the Scribes (and of course many others too) were out to “devour the houses of the widows”. So the pathetic condition of the widow was the result of an unjust social system that saw nothing wrong when the poor were exploited in the name of religion. So the comment that Jesus makes in today’s Gospel passage is not only an affirmation of the generosity of the widow, but also a challenge on the unjust socio-religious realities. So the passage urges us to be generous on one hand and to be just in our religious and social practices on the other. Let us keep the words of Mother Theresa in our mind when we give something: “If you give what you do not need, it is not giving.” Dr. Martin Mallathu CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-11-23

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Reflection for Monday November 21, The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Luke 21:1-4

Do we give from the heart?

Jesus in our gospel favored the generosity of the poor widow for the simple reason that it came from her heart. There is no string attached in her giving, it did not camo from her excess money, she gave whatever little amount she had.

This gospel invites us also to examine ourselves not only when we give to our church. It invites us also to reflect our motive of giving when we give to the poor or to anyone who is in need for that matter.

The ideal giving is to give from the heart. The amount of what we give is immaterial what is important is it originates from our heart and not from our head. In the gospel, it was not only the poor widow who gave some wealthy people also gave. However, Jesus is more pleased with the giving of the poor widow because her giving is pure and untainted by any form of ulterior motive.

Whatever we give from the heart comes back to us a hundredfold. On Luke chapter six verse thirty eight (6:38) Jesus tells us this: “Give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/11/reflection-for-monday-november-21.html

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November 21, 2016

It is a striking fact that, according to a lot of fund-raisers, the largest proportion of the money they raise comes in the form of small donations, not big ones. In fact, they will tell you, the big donations are few and far between. And these big donations are often enough the result of assiduous personal solicitings, not spontaneous offerings. As a rule, the poor are more generous than the rich—not in terms of absolute quantities, of course, but in terms of proportionate quantities (the size of the amount given in proportion to the means of the donor). Now why is this? Why is the widow in today’s gospel reading so much more generous with her tiny donation than everybody else?

No one has ever been able to explain this phenomenon satisfactorily, so we are left to our own devices to find an explanation. One guess is to associate wealth with the habit of grasping, coveting, scheming, etc. , which is the very opposite of giving. Maybe, if you have long been trying to gain money all your life, you have lost the reflex of giving it away in charity.

Anyhow, what is of decisive importance here is the motivation, the heart with which you give.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3710-november-21-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Monday of the 34th Week of the Year

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