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
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.
All Rights Reserved
Website designed by jlMarketing