The Gift of Generosity

Luke 21: 1-4
Dn 1:1-6, 8-20 / Dn 3

All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.
(Luke 21:4)

To those who practice charity,
God’s blessings flow abundantly;
With grateful hearts let’s strive to be
God’s gifts of generosity

As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21: 1-4)

Reflection

The widow’s contribution demonstrates the lesson that our Lord is imparting, that it is not so much what we give that counts, but what we are willing to give up. Jesus said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

It is always the spirit behind our giving that gives our gift its worth. There are two reasons we can think of why the widow decided to part with her last two coins. The first is out of gratitude. Inspite of her poverty, she wanted to express her gratitude to God for some blessing(s) that she might have received. The other reason is her strong faith. She firmly believed that by giving everything to God, He would surely reciprocate her sacrifice by giving back to her ten times or even more than what she had surrendered. She had complete faith in God’s providence and generosity.

Today’s Gospel of Luke teaches us several things about the gift of giving. The first is, it doesn’t matter whether we are rich or poor, we must never neglect our obligation to support our church, as the widow did for her temple. The amount is not as important as the sincerity of our intention. The second lesson we learn today is, we must give with total trust in the Lord’s Providence, believing that the cornucopia of God’s bounty will always be available to us. If we really have genuine faith in God, then we should harbor no doubt that He will open the floodgates of heaven to fill all our needs. The third thing to remember is this – “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also get a generous harvest. God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Cor.9:6,8) By being generous to others, we become God’s answer to their prayers.

Finally, we have learned that those who have less in life seem to have more in gratitude and wisdom. This is God’s justice. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:3)

Lord, may the words of St. Paul apply in all our dealings: “The One who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Cor. 9:10) Amen.

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