Giving What Matters

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The WORD in other words (2023) by Fr Roland Aquino SVD – St Jude Catholic School Manila

Saturday 9th Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus’ teaching against the human tendency to seek honor, recognition and fulfillment, and self-preservation is tempered by the careless, unlimited, and unconditional act of the poor widow putting all that she had, including certainly the budget for her meal for the next few days, into the temple treasury. 

Like any ordinary faithful believer going at that time to the temple, she has not made any significant or extraordinary presence among those well-known and highly recognized individuals in the temple area, until such time that Jesus himself accorded her special attention.

The fact that she was poor, a widow, but an extremely generous giver, constituted the real meaning of sacrificial love. In contrast to those who have contributed large sums of money from their surplus wealth, the poor widow has no other intention but only to fulfill her act of loving as a consequence of her religious encounter with God in prayer in the temple.

We can learn something important from the poor widow: to give what matters most from the heart that truly loves. In fact, with this perspective, one can now define mission as simply “reaching out to others in love.” This is where we as Church find fulfillment in the theme, “Gifted to Give,” as an appropriate inspiration in celebrating five hundred years of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021 and beyond.

With the poor widow, the words of Jesus in the gospel become clear: “Without cost you have received; without cost, you are to give.” (Mt.10:8). Faith is indeed a gift. And this gift of faith should be proclaimed and shared with others.

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