SUNDAY HOMILY: The Might of the Widow's Mite
people go beyond generosity. They have a noble soul and a disposition to take on great things for God and for their neighbor. These are the people who are passionate about their ideals and convictions. They live for God and for their neighbor by taking on great projects without any hesitation.
They are the great leaders, the great reformers and the great entrepreneurs.
The second deeper virtue is magnificence.
People with great souls and big hearts practice this virtue by taking on great things for God and for neighbor while undertaking the financial burden that such a project costs. These are the Tom Monaghan's of the world who took the fortune that he made by selling his Domino's Pizza and created a Catholic university for the education of young people.
How then can we apply today's Gospel passage to our lives? We need to examine ourselves and see just how generous we are with God and our neighbor.
We can do this by looking at three things that pretty well covers all of life; i.e., our time, our talents and our money.
Are we generous? Do we make sacrifices for others? Remember the words of Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta when she said: "This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts."
Are we generous at home? This is where all of this has to begin. How do we live our family life? Once generosity is lived out in the home, it carries over to our parish family, our place of work and our school.
A number of years ago I was invited to give a retreat to a group of lay people in New York City. A seminarian graciously accompanied me in order to help with the practical details. Prior to the evening retreat, we had a number of appointments, and so that meant that we would have lunch in New York. The seminarian really enjoyed Asian cuisine, so I accommodated his palate by inviting him to lunch at a Korean restaurant.
As we went to our table, we were met by a Korean woman who graciously attended us with delicate courtesy. Having had many years of experience at my father's restaurant, I was able to notice that her kindness, manners, and spirit of service were far from ordinary.
Towards the end of the meal, another Korean woman finished waiting on our table. When we were ready, I asked her for the check. She then proceeded to tell me that there would be no charge for the lunch because the first waitress took care of the bill. I was very surprised and I asked her why she had decided to pay for our meal. "She is Christian," was the unanticipated answer from the waitress.
"She is Christian," meant that all the other waitresses were not Christian, and that all though encountering a free meal in the middle of downtown New York City surprised me, they were not surprised at all.
They knew that this woman was different. Because of her Christianity, she was different.
God is a God of unconditional love.
We will never be able to outdo God's generosity for us. The more generous we are with God and our neighbor, the more God will be generous with us.
So, be generous with your time. Give yourself to others. Use and develop the talents that God has given to you. Be generous with your money. Do not be cheap. Besides, you can't take it with you. What's the point of being cheap?
Just imagine what parish life would be like if everyone was generous with their time, their talents and their money. One Catholic parish where everyone lived the Gospel with authenticity, maturity, coherence and passion could do a lot of good.
Father James Farfaglia is a contributing writer for Catholic Online and author of Get Serious! - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics. You can visit him on the web at www.fatherjames.org and listen to the audio podcast of this Sunday homily.
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