No Pain, No Gain

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In the first reading today, we read the beginning of the Book of the Prophet Daniel. Daniel was a gifted young man, and faithful to God. For that, God blessed him in many ways. We’ll see more this week. In the Gospel reading from Luke 21, a poor widow puts two small coins into the treasury of the temple.

Rich people were coming in and putting large sums of money into the treasury. Jesus took note of this and said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” In other words, it was no big deal for the wealthy to contribute loads of cash, but the widow gave all she had. For her, it was a stretch…a big one.

We sometimes think we’re being so magnanimous when we give away a bunch of junk. Clean out your closets or your garage and make a delivery to Goodwill or Catholic Charities and we get warm fuzzies about ourselves. But it was no stretch. Maybe the lesson we can learn from today’s Gospel is that we need to give until it hurts. Maybe the spiritual life is like the physical world…no pain, no gain.

Father, forgive us for the times when we are stingy, when we only give You our feeble leftovers. Help us to give all. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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