Ordinary Time, 32nd Sunday (B) People are watching as a widow puts in the bare minimum. Jesus is also watching, but he's watching not for the size of the gift, but the generosity of heart. You may find this hard to believe but Stewardship Commitment Sunday is not about guilting you into giving more. We are looking for more, but in two different senses:
- More intentional. You aren't going to pray regularly if you're not being intentional about how and when you pray. Are you serving in the best way possible? Have you talked to your spouse about how much you plan to give? We should be intentional about our giving.
- More love. It's ok to give and serve because we feel obligated, but it's better to give and serve as an act of love. Time is about loving God, Talent is about loving your neighbor, and Treasure is about not loving money.
The widow of Zarephath teaches us an important lesson. God has already blessed you abundantly, but he is willing to give you more. All you have to do is give generously from what you have received and God will give you even more.
The Rich Man
There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.
An angel heard his plea and appeared to him. "Sorry, but you can't take your wealth with you."
The man begged the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules. The man continued to pray that his wealth could follow him.
The angel reappeared and informed the man that God had decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathered his largest suitcase and filled it with pure gold bars and placed it beside his bed.
Soon afterward, he died and showed up at the gates of heaven to greet St. Peter.
St. Peter, seeing the suitcase, said, "Hold on, you can't bring that in here!"
The man explained to St. Peter that he had permission and asked him to verify his story with the Lord.
Sure enough, St. Peter checked it out, came back and said, "You're right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I'm supposed to check its contents before letting it through."
St. Peter opened the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaimed, "You brought pavement?"
(7 Nov 2021)
Going Deeper: How is God calling you to give more intentionally and with more love? If you haven't made a stewardship commitment, consider doing so now.
Image Source | Joke courtesy of Jim Shallow