GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 21ST NOVEMBER 2016
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 21ST NOVEMBER 2016
MONDAY OF THE 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
(THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY)
1ST READING: Revelation 14:1-5
PSALM: Psalm 24:1-6
GOSPEL: Luke 21:1-4
THEME: FAITH IN ACTION
Giving is a barometer for measuring faith. A selfish person, even if he/she speaks in tongues or prophesises, is a faithless person. Giving wholeheartedly to a cause of righteousness is a mark of a woman or man of faith.
The Gospel text for today offers us an example of a woman of deep faith. The narrative describes her as a widow. A widow, in ancient Israel, was a vulnerable person. Having no support of a husband, such a person would have to depend largely on the support of others. Two copper coins were the least valuable Jewish coins in circulation at that time. We are therefore presented with the image of a financially poor woman. Now comes the leap of faith – she goes and drops what she had into the treasury. Her action caught the attention of Jesus and made him to say, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” (Lk. 21:3-4). Two important virtues can be drawn from the woman’s action – detachment and dependence.
The woman had the spirit of detachment. She was not a slave to fleeting material possessions and would therefore not selfishly hoard what she had. Secondly, her giving was an expression of her absolute dependence on God – herein lies her deep faith in God. Her action was in contrast to the wealthy people who gave out of convenience – a mere surplus of what they had.
The faith of this woman recalls the memory of another woman of faith who gave her all, expressed in her statement – “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Lk 1:38). In celebrating the presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we celebrate her total-self-giving to the Lord.
Many of us pray and pray and pray but with no tangible results. Well, prayer without faith is a waste of time. We give so much of ourselves, money, time and energy to entertainment, socio-political and economic activities but when it comes to matters of faith, we give a surplus of who we are and what we have and yet we expect our prayers to work. The truth is that our act of “giving to God” does not increase God’s greatness; rather it deepens our faith and increases our capacity to receive from God.
May our faith in God show forth in our acts of self-giving and may others be drawn to God on account of our generosity.
Prayer: Eternal Father, you so loved me that you GAVE your only begotten son to me. In response to your great act of love towards me, I choose to GIVE my all to you. I make this commitment through Christ our Lord. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).