“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments
is not the truest of guides for human life?” ~Saint Benedict, from the Rule of Saint Benedict (73:3)
“O Lord, grant us that love which can never die, which will enkindle our lamps but not extinguish them, so that they may shine in us and bring light to others. Most dear Savior, enkindle our lamps that they may shine forever in your temple. May we receive unquenchable light from you so that our darkness will be illuminated and the darkness of the world will be made less. Amen.” ~Prayer of Saint Columban
Monday, November 23, 2015 ~ Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Clement I, Pope and Martyr; Saint Columban, Abbot;
Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro, Priest and Martyr
Holy Gospel: Luke 21:1-4 When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”
Meditation: Jesus teaches that real giving must come from the heart, because a gift given out of love, with a spirit of generosity and sacrifice, is precious. The amount or size of the gift doesn’t matter as much as the cost to the giver. The poor widow could have kept one of her coins, but instead she recklessly gave away all she had! Jesus praised someone who gave barely equaled a penny because it was literally everything she had – her whole living – that she offered to God. What is your weekly Offertory on Sunday to God? On a percentage if income basis, is it truly a significant offering to God, given out of love for him and his son, Jesus Christ, and the Church he founded?
Prayer ~ Pope Saint Clement I: Almighty ever-living God, who are wonderful in the virtue of all your Saints, grant us joy in the yearly commemoration of Saint Clement, who, as a Martyr and High Priest of your Son, bore out by his witness what he celebrated in mystery and confirmed by example what he preached with his lips. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer ~ Saint Columban: O God, who in Saint Columban wonderfully joined the work of evangelization to zeal for the monastic life, grant, we pray, that through his intercession and example we may strive to seek you above all things and to bring increase to your faithful people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer ~ Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro: Our God and Father, who conferred upon your servant Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro the grace of ardently seeking your greater glory and the salvation of others, grant, through his intercession and example, that by faithfully and joyfully performing our daily duties and effectively assisting those around us, we may serve you with zeal and ever seek your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: During the Mass the Offertory collection is really important. Whether we put in the “widow’s mite” as today’s Gospel refers or have the means to give much more, our financial contribution represents the gift of ourselves to God – literally my personal offering to God. As the Offertory brought forward at the presentation of the gifts, along with the bread and wine, our financial contribution serves as a sign of our self-offering. While the Bible speaks of tithing – and many Christian denominations insist on the 10 percent of income basis referenced in the Bible – the Catholic Church does not insist on tithing. But is your Offering to God a noteworthy amount given back to God out of love for him, his son Jesus Christ, and the Church that Jesus founded? If not, shouldn’t it be? As Advent quickly approaches, and a new Church Year begins, now is a good time to revisit the amount we give each Sunday through the Offertory during Mass so that it reflects more closely our love for God – our offering to him made in thanksgiving and love. Let us pray that each of us will give freely and generously in gratitude for all that God have given to us.