Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this sacred and holy day of the Lord, we heard about the Lord our God Who shows great love and concern for us, the providence which He will give to all those who clung themselves strongly to Him, and He will bless all those who have given their all and devoted their all for the sake of the Lord their God.
And we heard about the story of two poor and suffering woman in both the first reading today from the Book of Kings, and in the poor woman from the Gospel of St. Mark, who gave all the possessions she had, despite herself having difficulties to persevere in her own difficult life. But what Jesus wanted to tell us is that, her gifts and offerings, being given out through times of difficulty is truly a genuine gift pleasing to the Lord.
For Jesus showed rightly that those who are rich, when they gave to the poor or donated money to the Temple treasury, they tried to outdo the other man in our giving to all those who needed them. While they gave what they had, they gave from their plenty and had no concerns or qualms about giving what they had, whereas the woman who had so little, still yet gave from her own pocket, whatever she could give to help the Temple building at that time.
In trying to glorify the Lord by her actions and by her dedication, she has shown all of us true and genuine faith, and a courageous and real commitment to the Lord, by giving all she had without worry or concerns for this world and for whatever she had in this world. She placed her trust completely and entirely in the Lord, and in doing so, she will indeed receive eternal and glorious reward of heaven.
But yet, at the same time, we have to take note that Jesus was not condemning the rich and those who have many possessions and things of this world. For we know of the rich people and those who have much with them, who have generously given from their own coffers to help others who are in need, and for various other good purposes and deeds.
The key here is that when we give to others, and we give something that belongs to us to help other who are around us, we have to be sincere and devoted in our giving, and we cannot give with the expectation that whoever we gave to, we demand them to return the gift in the same manner. And when we give something, let us not be too concerned about the loss we incur because of our giving.
Why is this so, brethren? This is important as it is our tendency to grow too attached to what we have, and we do not like it when we need to lose them or to part ways with them, because it is in our human nature to always desire for more things, to accumulate what we already have to get even more of them. It is this attachment that is so harmful and so dangerous for us, as unchecked, they can bring about ruin to our souls.
The wealth and possessions that we have, they are in themselves not evil or wicked in nature, for they are just objects and tools that can indeed be used for the purpose of evil, as well as for good purposes and for the benefit of all those who are around us. It is in how we use them, that we can effect either good or bad things upon others, and it is in how we look at them and treat these that we can use them for good or evil, and in doing so bringing either blessings or disgrace and condemnation upon our souls.
The Lord wanted us all to know that if we want to love Him and if we want to be truly faithful to Him, then there is truly no greater price to pay than our total devotion and commitment, and the full trust that we all should place in Him, our Lord, Master and Saviour. Just like the widow of Zarephath who suffered greatly from the famine that came over Israel because of their disobedience, she had less and less food, and soon enough, her food stock would run out and she and her son would perish.
But the prophet Elijah came to her seeking for help and food, and when she voiced her concerns, Elijah told her not to worry, for the Lord Who is loving and kind to all those who put their trust in Him will provide all that is needed for sustenance and survival, as well as joy and happiness for His people. He will not abandon them to suffer in need without what they need, and He will in His own ways, bless His people and grant them help.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, God proved His love and commitment to help His people, by showing His everlasting providence through the flour jar that never finished, and the jug of oil that never ran out. In this, He wanted the widow of Zarephath and all of us to know that if we put our trust and complete faith in Him, then we truly have nothing to be worried about.
Remember on another occasion Jesus told His disciples and the people about how God blessed the beautiful flowers in the field and the birds with colourful feathers and various raiments of colour with much blessings, and how if He has blessed these with such great blessings then we should not need to worry if we put our trust in Him. In one way or another, in His own way, He will take very good care of us.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us make use of the opportunities that God has given us, and let us use whatever blessings He has graced us with, we may share the goods and the joys we have with one another. Let us not be greedy or be selfish, in selfishly keeping all the wealth, goods and blessings of God to ourselves. May God awaken in all of our hearts the desire to love one another, so that we may realise that even if we are in unfortunate condition, there are always those who are poorer and who are in greater suffering than us.
Let us all act now, and from now on let us all devote ourselves completely to serve the Lord in all the things we do, and let us all commit ourselves to care about each other, and sharing the joys we have received from the Lord. May Almighty God, our Lord bless our endeavours and keep us always in His grace. God bless us all. Amen.