A Sign of Total Giving

I will never forget many years ago discovering that a person who donated a coat to our jumble sale had cut off all the buttons before they handed it over. This was truly a mean gift. It is like those who donate out of date tins of food for the poor. I suppose this is the modern equivalent of those who gave to the temple from what they had to spare.

In the gospel today, Jesus praises the widow who gave all she had as her contribution to the Temple. Compared with the rich and the well to do, her contribution was negligible. Yet her gift was an expression of love, which was a sign of total giving. She gave all she had just as Jesus gave himself totally for our sake.

In our first reading today, we have to story to the widow of Zarephath who during the famine and drought shared her last meal with the prophet Elijah. Because of her generosity God enable her to have enough food for as long as the famine lasted.

The challenge for me is to what extent am I prepared to give of myself totally to God?

Here is a great prayer written by Fr Sylvester O’Flynn.

“O generous Father, fill us with a sense of love for all people. Help us to realise that what we have is not really our own but ultimately belongs to you. Help us to see that it has been given to us so that we might share it with all your other children on earth.

Help us to be generous with the gift of time which you have given us.

May we show on our faces that we do have time for others, time to listen, time to share the burden, time to celebrate their joy.

Help us to leave behind the self-centred routine which has taken us from family and neighbours. Help us to be generous in our emotions. May all our feelings and reactions be warmed by love. When we feel like reacting in self-importance, show us how to be humble. When we are stung and seek revenge help us to reach out in forgiveness. Where we are fired with anger, help us to be patient and gentle. When we are full of prejudice and intolerance, show us how we might allow the other person to be different.

O God of all giving, overwhelm us with a sense of your love, so that all we have is for you, all we do is for you,
and all we are is in you.”

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest