Scribe or Widow? – November 2018

A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.”

Mark 12:42,43


My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Jesus talks about the rich and the poor in the Gospel of St. Mark.  But the rich and the poor of whom he speaks are not the typical ideals. The rich person is characterized by the poor widow and the poor person is characterized by the rich who give of his/her excess. The widow is fragile, someone who has lost a sure, reliable life partner. The widow is vulnerable. Yet, the widow is also faith-filled and her stewardship of all that God has given her is realized within her two small coins. She has given of her entire being for the glory of the Lord.

This Scripture may be difficult for us upon which to pray. At times, our ‘righteousness’ may not be charitable. Our sacrifices may be negligible, without a thought of God. We may indulge in worldly goods and scrimp on what is left for God. The widow, in her humility, shows us the gift of discipleship. She is not embarrassed to give this small amount because it is of more value than the excess of the scribes. She helps us to understand that we are called to trust the Word of God even though there may be no clear reason to do so. We are asked to hold nothing back from God, even the little we have. We return to the Lord what we have been given to become profound blessing.

During this month of November, we especially are mindful of the examples of the saints who lead us to seek the Kingdom of heaven through sacrificial offerings. The devastating effects of Hurricane Michael shout at us to care for our brothers and sisters within our own diocese, our state, our country, our world. The annual collection for Catholic Charities of Central Florida held in our diocese the weekend of November 10-11 endows our heart to bless the poor in spirit with our contribution. Recently the religious sisters who serve in the Diocese of Orlando celebrated three jubilarians of sixty or more years of consecrated life.  These religious have given of the core of their being as they guide us faithfully to the path of God. The diocesan and papal honorees whom we celebrated during Mid-Day Prayer on November 4 shine forth the communion of saints among us. Our daily living is full of remembrance of our departed loved ones who formed us in faith and sacrificed so much for us, teaching us about God’s love. Next week, I will be joining my brother bishops at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops annual meeting to discern important matters about protecting our most vulnerable people. I promise to offer my all and to discern the Wisdom of God during our deliberations.

Christ offers us Himself and this Gift changes reality; the way to God is known at the Eucharistic table. One reality we encounter through the Sacrament of the Eucharist is Christ’s presence in the Church community, His body. Participating in the celebration of Mass nourishes us spiritually and we leave the sanctuary purified to give of our entire being so that God’s presence is known to each one we meet. The eternal liturgy of God’s love in which we participate all the days of our lives is imbued in gratitude and requires faith and trust.

Are you a scribe or a widow?  Whom do you hope to be?  May we strive to be instruments of salvation to those who eagerly await Him.