Today’s Gospel: Mark 12:38-44
Optional Memorial of Saint Norbert, Bishop
Optional Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I have always loved this Gospel because it demonstrates true humility and complete trust in such a beautiful way. I also have to admit that it was a Gospel that also made me very angry and hurt during a difficult time for our family. I left the work world for 12 years to enjoy the blessing of staying home with our kids, and when I returned to the work force it was to teach in a Catholic school. There have been times when jealousy pinched me a little as I watched family and friends buy cottages, new cars, take vacations, and contribute easily to their children’s college education. Thankfully those moments were short-lived because I knew that God had a plan for us, and those things just weren’t a part of it. We were committed to providing a Catholic education to our children and supporting our parish financially, so there were many times we felt like the widow who had given all she had. Honestly, it’s a great feeling to know that God will meet all our needs because we’ve done all we could to meet his with our finances. We were at peace.
Then came the day when we bought a used car for our kids to drive, and the police showed up to take it from us because the man we bought it from had stolen it from an elderly Alzheimer’s patient. He went to court and was ordered to pay us back but couldn’t; he had no job, no stability, no family…he was a broken man. We were hurt and angry and out nearly ten thousand dollars. When I prayed for the strength to forgive and move on, I asked God for a verse, and guess where I landed…this Gospel. “Really, God”, I screamed, “we’ve given it all; we’ve scraped, and sacrificed and been content without fancy stuff, and you point me to this verse as if we haven’t given enough!” It took several days of forcing myself to read and re-read this Gospel, but one day I realized that we hadn’t. We hadn’t offered up every last coin of bitterness and resentment toward this man. We hadn’t offered every last coin of thanksgiving that we had been blessed with—faith and love and witness that allowed us to provide a very different life for our children than this man’s parents had given him. We hadn’t offered up every last coin of independence. We hadn’t admitted that God is rich and completely trusted that he would continue to meet all of our needs. He really did want it all, and when we joyfully presented it all to him, like the widow, we were rich.
What are you hanging on to? What are the coins of great price that prevent you from offering your entire livelihood to God in love and trust?
Generous Father, show me the treasures of your heart. Reveal to me the gifts and blessings of tremendous value you have for me, and allow me to empty my hands of earthly treasures so I may reach to you with outstretched arms and open hands to receive them.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Sheri Wohlfert