Monday, March 11, 2019 at 6:38 PM
Stations of the Cross every Friday in Lent. We are alternating times. This Friday, March 15 at 7:00pm, next Friday, March 22 at 3:00pm. If you are of age, please remember to Fast and Abstain

11/8/15 Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. Reggie

There are two ways of being generous: the way of the scribes, and the way of the widow.

The scribes were the experts in interpreting the Law of Moses, and the Law of Moses was the core of Jewish culture.

And so the people of ancient Israel respected and reverenced the scribes.

But Jesus was unhappy with them. Without a doubt, they worked long, hard hours; they were always busy with worthy projects. But, unfortunately, their natural intellectual gifts and elevated social function had gone to their heads. Instead of exercising their leadership as a service to the nation and to their neighbors, they were flaunting it to stoke their vanity, increase their comfort, and enhance their reputation. The higher they climbed, the more they looked down on everyone else. They considered themselves superior because they gave more time, talent, and treasure to the Temple than anyone else. But this was a one-dimensional view of generosity. The scribes were forgetting that all those external things were actually gifts God had given them in the first place.

What God truly wants from us is something more, something deeper: he wants our love; he wants us to trust in him.

This is what the poor widow gave to him. She didn’t just share some of her abundance; she handed over to God all of her wealth, saying to him: “Lord, you are my good shepherd, and I will follow wherever you lead.” 


Because of our fallen human nature, we all have a strong tendency to follow the example of the scribes instead of the widow. Just think about how hurt and angry we feel when we work hard to help or to please someone, and then they don't show any appreciation for our efforts. Or, to take another example, think about how sensitive we are when someone criticizes us or misinterprets our motives. We truly need to purify our hearts of the self-centered attitudes that make us more like the scribes than the widow. This is not something we can do on our ownnor is it something that usually happens from one day to the next.

But we can make progress, under two conditions. First, we have to take small steps, being patient with ourselves as we gradually learn to do what is right out of a desire to please God, not other people. Second, we have to ask for God to help us. His grace is our secret weapon, and too often we keep it on the shelf simply because we don't ask for his help.


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