Saturday of the 9th Week of the Year

Mark 12:38-44

Denunciation of the Scribes: The Poor Widow

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Giving alms, contributing to charities, mass offerings, Sunday mass collections are religious activities we take for granted as routine acts of charity.

In this story of the Widow’s Mite Jesus reminds us on who we are and who God is in our lives. The widow in the temple, poor, vulnerable, counts for nothing in the society. In the background are the rich, influential, powerful and religious people.

The temple is a place of worship, a place where God and man meet. Later, Jesus would be talking of temples not made of stones but temples in the heart where God dwells.

We go to church to worship God, to talk to God and listen to Him. We thank Him for all the blessings given us. We could never repay God enough! But we can express our grateful hearts.

A very important way of thanking God is to pray and strive to become like God. Of course, we cannot become Almighty, without End and Beginning, but we can imitate His generosity. God gives His all in His Son who offered His life that we may have the fullness of life. God wants to share His happiness.

Whenever we give a donation, we realize that our happiness is to be in union with God. To be like God means to give our best. The widow gave all the little that she had. God saw the kind of generosity she had in her heart. Therefore, whatever it is that really makes us happy we ought to share generously for this is what God is, sharing Himself generously.

Whenever I drop 25 centavo-coins during offertory in the Mass, I hope to remember Jesus’ story of the Widow’s Mite. (Fr. Ben Limsuan, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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Jesus is a very fine teacher and we see one of His lessons today. First He uses the scribes as an example for His disciples. They should beware of the scribes and Jesus gives reasons why, one after the other, building on what he has said and reinforcing it. The final reason complements all the others and is the most conclusive reason for not following the scribes, their way will lead to “a very severe condemnation” and so will not bring them to God. Everything the scribes do is geared to themselves and not to God.

Having shown His disciples the lifestyle they should avoid, Jesus now leads them towards the ideal of complete commitment. As a visual aid He uses those who are giving their offerings to the temple, in particular, a widow. He guides the disciples to understand that while most people give only what they can afford to lose, the ideal is to give everything of oneself. The widow gives from her poverty, she gives all she has to give, in fact she gives herself.

Our Mangyan children often sing this hymn at Mass: Alay naming tanggapin mo, handog mula sa aming puso, sa aming karukhaan, ikaw an gaming kayamanan. The Lord is the widow’s treasure.

After a skilful presentation by Jesus the master teacher, we, his disciples, know what Jesus expects of us and we must answer some difficult questions:

1.    Do we live for ourselves only?

2.    Do we terminate or abort God’s plan of salvation within ourselves?

3.    Are we ready to give to God only what we can afford to losse, or

4.    Are we prepared to give everytging, in fact our whole life, just like the widow?

5.    Is the Lord our tanging yaman?

Jesus is not a board passer but He is very effective teacher and our future certainly depends on Him! (Fr. Alan Meechan, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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I accidentally dined with a young politician who claimed to have a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy. He proudly shared how he spread this devotion and boasted that this year was his third time to write an article on the Divine Mercy in one of the national newspapers. He was so confident that he was truly spreading the devotion. And he smiled at me and said: “Pwede na yata ‘yong pambawas sa aking mga kasalanan.

In our gospel, Jesus tells His disciples that love offering from one’s poverty is better than the contribution from one’s surplus of wealth. Many believe the idea that offering one’s surplus in the “spirit” of charity will wash away sins. However, based on the gospel, God’s forgiveness and mercy are neither merited by the wealth one gives to the Church and the needy nor by spreading certain devotions. Rather, God’s grace is free and unmerited for saint and sinner alike. Purity of one’s heart, the sincerity of one’s intentions and motivations, like that of the widow, enhance its bestowal upon us.

In the eyes of God, what matters most is not how much we give but how pure the intention is when we give; not how much we do but how much we love what we are doing.

Truly, we should give without expecting anything in return. God’s promise of unconditional love suffices. (Fr. Ross Heruela, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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On November 5, 1991 there was a terrible calamity in the City of Ormoc on the island of Leyte that hit the headlines worldwide. Many of us would remember the shocking pictures of thousands of people who died in the terrible flood. Sad stories of individuals and families touched the hearts of many an d generated widespread help.

At that time we had just started organizing people in one of Cebu’s garbage dumps. Disastrous living conditions had been perpetuated there and families living on the garbage pit were suffering tremendously. Almost anything that people need for a decent living was lacking. People badly needed food and clothing, potable drinking water, a decent place to live, and work. But the people in the dumpsites were touched by the Ormoc disaster as more and more gruesome stories went around day after day. They knew that flood victims in Ormoc needed help.

One Sunday while celebrating Mass my eyes were filled with tears when during the offertory I saw these poor people from the dumpsites put some seven sacks of rice, canned goods and clothes in front of the altar – all the things they needed themselves so urgently for their own survival. And yet they knew that people in Ormoc would need these things more than them. “This poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” (Fr. Heinz Kulueke, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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June 9, 2012

St. Ephrem
deacon and doctor
(OptM) WHITE

Saturday of the Ninth Week
GREEN

2 Tm 4:1-8
Ps 71
Mk 12:38-44

Denunciation of the Scribes
The Poor Widow’s Contribution

38In the course of his teaching [Jesus] said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, 39seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. 40They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

41He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. 43Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. 44For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

Reflection:

She, from her poverty, has contributed all. The poor widow of the Gospel is an example of true giving. She gives everything she has, forgetting herself and firmly believing in the goodness and providence of God. She offers what matters most to her—her whole livelihood. She depends on God, not on money. Her God is her wealth.

In contrast, rich people contribute from their surplus wealth. They share what is extra. They give what they do not need and continue living comfortably.

When was the last time we gave our most valuable offering or most precious possession to Jesus? When did we last make a supreme sacrifice for Jesus? We must admit that there are parts of our life, of our daily activities, or of ourselves that we have not completely surrendered to Jesus. We hold back from Jesus perhaps our time and our treasures.

Let the poor widow show us how to give without counting the cost, to share even what we need ourselves, and to give the best even if it hurts.

 “It is possible to give without love, but it is impossible to love without giving.”

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/1862-june-9-2012

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A Great Contrast

June 6, 2015 (readings)

Saturday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Father Edward Hopkins, LC

Mark 12: 38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.” He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe in you, the goal of my life. To please you is worth more than any praise or recognition the world can give. I trust that you will always inspire my heart to love you in all I do. I wish only to forget myself in order to love you and those you send my way.

Petition: Lord Jesus, may I do all for the glory of your name!

  1. A Scalpel to My Vanity: The scribes did everything right in the eyes of men. Jesus could see that it was all a facade. Their robes were for them to be noticed. People were to pay them tribute for being men of honor. Today that same vanity is still popular. What we wear, the car we drive and the titles or letters that follow our name seem to give us our self-worth. Yet, these men of means brought nothing but condemnation upon themselves. Their position of leadership and learning placed great responsibility upon them. However, far from the great good they could do for others, they used it to take advantage of others. What deeds do I have to show for any position or learning I have?
  2. Eliminating My Egotism: For whom do I live? The scribes lived for themselves. If they taught, it was to impress others. If they gave, it was to build a reputation. If they prayed, it was to justify all that they stole from the poor. They were not evil men; they were ‘good guys’. But they were driven by self-love. It explained all they did. Even if they happened to do something just, its worth was empty, for they sought themselves.
  3. Behold True Charity: Against the backdrop of so much show and empty parading, Jesus sees a bright act of virtue. He sees what no one else saw. He saw someone almost ignored by everyone. The authenticity of her gift was twofold. She gave quietly, without any thought of winning praise: her gift was for God alone. And what she gave appeared small but in fact was her all, everything she owned. Pure charity is done for God and involves the gift of our entire self. Unreserved offers of service, ever ready to love and serve, when, where and as I am asked, how rare these are! How do I give? Is my charity ever hidden? In what ways do I give my entire self to God?

Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord, free me from self-love that kills the value of my giving and assassinates my efforts to form virtue. Help me die to myself for love of others. May I never neglect anyone who needs my help. But keep my giving quiet, so that my only reward will be found in you for all eternity.

Resolution: I will do a hidden act of charity today.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.

epriest.com/reflections/view/411?utm_source=bulletin_738&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Bulletin

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One Bread, One Body – Reflection for June 6, 2015

YOUR PRACTICAL ACT OF FAITH

“It is better to give alms than to store up gold; for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin.” –Tobit 12:8-9

The archangel Raphael told Tobit and Tobiah that “almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin.” This seems to be a strange teaching, for we believe that sin is expiated by Jesus’ saving death and that we accept this expiation by our faith in Him. However, Jesus showed He accepted the reception of expiation through almsgiving when He said to the Pharisees: “If you give what you have as alms, all will be wiped clean for you” (Lk 11:41).

For Tobit and the Pharisees, almsgiving was not to be done in place of faith, but as an act of faith. The Pharisees “were avaricious men” (Lk 16:14). They laughed at Jesus when He taught we should be very generous in giving our money to the needy (Lk 16:14). For the Pharisees to give alms extensively, and in the right spirit, would take a great act of faith.

Tobit, while not as avaricious as the Pharisees, was also money-conscious. Before going blind, he had been a purchasing agent for the government (Tb 1:13). He was depressed because he had to depend on his wife’s salary for his livelihood (see Tb 2:10-11), and he had a large “savings account” in Media (see Tb 4:1). For people like Tobit and the Pharisees, giving alms was a great act of faith by which they could receive expiation for all their sins. What is a great, practical act of faith for you?

PRAYER: Father, give me the faith of the poor widow in today’s Gospel reading.

PROMISE: “She gave from her want, all that she had to live on.” –Mk 12:44

PRAISE: St. Norbert brought many back to faith in Jesus present as the Blessed Sacrament.

mycatholic.com/reflections/2015-157.html

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SATURDAY OF THE 9TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MARCOS 12:38-44. UNSA MAY MAGHATAG OG KAHULOGAN SA ATONG PAG-AMPO UG PAGSIMBA SA DIOS? Ang atong relasyon sa Ginoo kinahanglan nga ubanan sa atong maayong relasyon sa isigkatawo. Gisaway ni Kristo ang mga Magtutudlo sa Balaod tungod kay haloyo sa ilang tag-as nga mga pag-ampo, nanlupig sila sa mga biyuda ug nangilog sa ilang mga katigayonan. Ang ilang pagsimba sa Dios nahimong pakitang-tao na lamang ug dili bililhon sa mga mata sa Ginoo. Hinaot nga dili unta kini mahitabo kanato. Magrespeto kita sa isigkatawo, magmaki-angayon, ug magtabang sa mga nanginahanglan aron nga ang atong mga pag-ampo ug atong kinabuhi mismo mahimong makahuloganon. Adunay nag-ingon: “A beautiful life does not just happen. It is built daily by prayer, humility, sacrifice and hardwork.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/06/saturday-of-9th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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June 6, 2015

Saturday of the 9th Week in the Ordinary Time

She Offered Everything She Had

Jesus, here presents two contrasting pictures. First he says about the leaders of the society, who regularly exploited the widows and weaker people and pretended to offer long prayers. They seek respect from the people. Then he appreciates a poor widow who contributed everything she had for her living.

One thing Jesus criticized vehemently was hypocrisy and he asks not to show off your good actions. If you are praying, don’t make it a show for the people. When you are fasting do not exhibit it for others. When you give alms don’t do it public. God sees the heart. He does not count the applause.

In the widow’s offering Jesus sees her heart. In another instance when the sinner woman poured the precious perfume on his feet more than the value of the perfume he saw the love in her heart. Because of her love her sins were forgiven. Judas who saw the money value of it said 300 denarii were simply wasted. When Judas said lot of money is being wasted she would have said in her heart, ‘If I had 600 or more denarii I would have spent the whole of it for Jesus.’

In any offering or giving the heart of the giver is more important than the gift itself.

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-06-6

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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