Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...

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seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – Mark 12:38-44
1. The scribes are presented as ostentatious and devious, acting more out of self-interest than the love of God or people. There can be an element of self-interest in each of us. Perhaps there have been times when you have been disturbed by glimpsing in yourself ‘other motives’ in your doing good. Recall when you were awakened to this fact. Where was the good news for you in that awakening?
2. In material terms, what the widow had to offer was very little. Recall when you felt yourself called to give, and gave even though you apparently had very little. Perhaps you have had the experience of finding that what you thought was little and insignificant meant a great deal to another person. Recall some of those moments.
3. The widow ‘gave everything she had, all she had to live on’. In doing so she placed herself in a very vulnerable position, trusting that things would work out. Have you ever found that what seemed a generous but reckless giving of yourself proved life-giving for yourself and others? 
– John Byrne, OSA

Musings
If Jesus draws our attention to the generosity of the poor widow captured forever in this splendid Gospel page, it is no doubt because it is an image of his own redemptive generosity. Everything has been given. There is nothing left to give. Jesus surrenders himself totally in his death on the cross and in that act of redemptive generosity he opens up for us the way to salvation. If we are to share with him the glory of resurrection we will need, first of all, to share in the sacrificial generosity of his death. Our generosity, our surrender, needs to match his. This is the promise of our Baptism, what we commit ourselves to afresh every time we involve ourselves in the dynamic of the Mass.  – Fr James O’Kane

The Deep End
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is courageously speaking out against the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of his time. He is encouraging all his followers to engage in a reality check. The hypocrisy of the scribes is in total contrast to the humility and generosity of the widow in the second part of the Gospel. She gives not of what she has to spare, but everything she has. She is freer than the others.
We can be quick to make judgements about another person’s commitment based on what we see happening on the outside. Those leaders who acquire the best seats and show up in all the frills may not actually be all they appear to be. Jesus is urging us to look into the person’s heart for what is there is far more important than all the trappings on the outside. The widow gives everything and this does not have to be about money.
We might recall those today who give us their time, their support, who pray from the heart and give of themselves expecting nothing in return. We might thank them, pray for them. We can also look into our own hearts today and challenge our motivations for what we do. Can we give more of ourselves to God or to someone we love? A listening ear, ‘wasting time’ with people, looking at how we spend our money. Jesus calls us to search our hearts and the hearts of others in today’s gospel. The widow models Jesus’ way of discipleship in contrast to those in positions of leadership and power.  – Jane Mellett, Pastoral Worker, Dublin Diocese

(from Intercom)

 

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Today’s Mass Readings
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Thank you, Jesus
When I fall, He lifts me up.
When I fail, He forgives.
When I am weak, He is strong.
When I am lost, He is the way.
When I am afraid, He is my courage.
When I stumble, He steadies me.
When I am hurt, He heals me.
When I am broken, He mends me.
When I am blind, He leads me.
When I am hungry, He feeds me.
When I face trials, He is with me.
When I face persecution, He shields me.
When I face problems, He comforts me.
When I face loss, He provides for me.
When I face Death, He carries me Home!
He is everything for everybody, everywhere,
every time, and every way.
He is God, He is faithful,
I am His and He is mine.
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