Give God Your Best – He Will Do The Rest
27 November 2017
Jesus often shows himself as an acute observer of life as it moves around him. He is also a master at showing us the Truth through these observations. Today’s gospel on the ‘poor widows wealth’ is a perfect opportunity for us to scratch the surface and break open a truth that can penetrate our lives.
Let us begin with a simple question: are you generous? Far too often, we get generosity and giving confused for one another. They just aren’t the same. The materially rich gave only out of their abundance. The poor widow gave amidst her poverty. The act is the same, but the level of generosity is vastly different. To have a spirit of generosity is not about what you give, but rather the priorities you place around your wealth. The poor widow had the greatest excuse to save her little wealth for herself, but instead, she prioritised her faith in the Church and made her gift an act of worship. She stepped out in faith, made God her priority and trusted in His provision to sustain her. What a radical example of faith!
Jesus does not condemn the temple authorities or the wealthy for greed or materialism. He merely points out the truth: the generosity of the poor widow far outweighs all others. Her priority of giving in faith has left herself nothing to live on.
Jesus allows us to draw our conclusions and discover what meaning the event has for us. What are your conclusions?
Reading this scripture forces me to reconsider what I think is necessary for my own life. Am I living in abundance, giving only out of my surplus? Or am I prioritising giving to Christ and His Church above even my deepest human needs?
To answer this in your own life, I want you to imagine the entire world is a village of 100 people. Yes, just 100 people. Where do you think your wealth would compare? Would you be surprised if said that:
six people would possess more than half of the total wealth.
nine people would own a car.
80 people would be living in sub-standard housing.
30 people are dying from lack of food.
30 people are dying from lack of justice.
30 people are dying from living in excess.
40 people would be living on under $2.50 per day.
How do you see this village? How do you know your world? Your worldview is made up of countless thoughts, beliefs, ideas, and prejudices. It is unique to you. It is also imperfect. You will never be able to grasp the reality of the 99 other people in your village. Your worldview will be subject to distortions and blind spots that are often the source of the problems in our lives.
God challenges these worldviews. He challenges us to realise all our real needs can be fulfilled in Him. No, you don’t need that new iPhone X (or 10… or whatever it is). Yes, you do need love, joy, hope, faith, courage, and mercy. But where do you place your priority? In the desire of the world or the desires of God. If all you give God is your leftovers – your surplus – then how can he bless you? Just like the loaves and fishes, we are to give God all that we have, and he will return to us an abundance of grace.
Today, I challenge you to give God your best, make Him your priority. Wake up in the morning a little earlier and pray; give Him your best time of the day. Make sure you get to Mass this Sunday; give him your best day of the week. Bring a few extra dollars to offer at Mass; give him your generosity and His blessings return.
If you take up this challenge and make Christ your priority, it won’t be you that is merely giving the gift, but you will receive the gift of God’s grace in abundance.