Flor McCarthy says, “the test of a gift is not what it amounts to in itself, but what its loss means to the giver.”
Mother Teresa told a story how one day she was walking down the street when a beggar came up to her and said, “Mother Teresa, everybody is giving to you, I also want to give to you. Today, for the whole day, I got only thirty cents. I want to give it to you.”
Mother Teresa thought for a moment: “If I take the thirty cents he will have nothing to eat tonight, and if I don’t take it I will hurt his feelings. So I put out my hands and I took the money. I have never seen such joy on anybody’s face as I saw on the face of that beggar man at the thought that he too could give to Mother Teresa.”
Mother Teresa went on: “It was a big sacrifice for that poor man, who had sat in the sun all day long and received only thirty cents. It was a beautiful. Thirty cents is such a small amount, and I can get nothing with it, but as he gave it up and I took it, it became like thousands because it was given with so much love. God looks, not at the greatness of the work, but at the love with which it is performed.”
Today’s Scripture gives us the story of two widows who are willing to give everything. They don’t have much to give, but what they have they are willing to give. In how these widows give they become Christ figures for us. Jesus, like the widow, is willing to give totally and completely of himself so that others may have life. What are we willing to give so that others may have life?
As I write this I am looking forward to the installation of Bishop Johnston as our bishop. We have been praying for healing and unity in our diocese. Bishop Johnston will help to lead us to that healing and unity. He needs our continued prayers. He also needs our efforts to be sources of healing and unity too.
Pope Francis is calling us to a Year of Mercy beginning on December 8th. We will need mercy if we are going to have healing and unity. In our upcoming Wings newsletter, you will be hearing more about the Year of Mercy and the efforts we can make individually and as a parish to allow us to be examples of the mercy God has shown us.
I was moved by our candle memorial this past weekend. We will continue to pray during this month of November for our loved ones who have gone before us and for the family and friends who mourn their loss.