Catholic Charismatic Church  - There was a time when faith was not found wanting.

Family Rituals

Halloween has now passed.  The end of our Church Year on the Solemnity of Christ the King is just a couple of weeks away (November 22, 2015).  Advent is the week after that and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Then comes Christmas.
Our proximity to these upcoming days should be noticed, but not just from the point of view of getting our preparations underway.  Family rituals can be valuable, but they can have their downside.  Doing the same thing the same way year after year can rob the holidays of their deeper meanings.
We must look at these events with new eyes so we can find new reasons to do what we do.  Stepping back and taking a new look at these days might move them from just being the “holidays” to become “the holy days.”
Many Christian denominations call the second Sunday in November “Stewardship Sunday.”  Many of our own parishes and dioceses use this time of year for annual giving appeals.  One Gospel will be used as part of these appeals, asking us to see the widow in the Gospel as being the model for generous, sacrificial giving.  Jesus did NOT raise this widow up for a model of giving.  To the contrary, Jesus presents her in the most tragic way!  More to the point, this is a Gospel about the injustice of the rich and the leadership of the temple.
Mark makes it clear that the widow’s two small coins were the remainder of her earthly wealth.  With nothing more, only death was left.  The rich and the leadership did indeed “devour the houses of widows.”
Jesus does not raise up the widow for us as a shining example – nor does He criticize her. The point Jesus was making was to shame those who were giving in order to get something, e.g. , honors.  It is OK to honor someone who gives, and Jesus does not condemn honoring people who give, but Jesus does criticize those who give without sacrifice.

Real giving changes us into something more than we are now.  As we look towards Christ the King, the Church has us looking toward the end of time when Christ will reign triumphant.  We should not forget that Jesus, in just a matter of days, will be giving His own life, the sacrifice that ushered in  the Kingdom.  Jesus’ sacrifice changed lives and lifestyles.  So should our giving.  So should our holidays.


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