all for the one
"She from her want has given what she could not afford." —Luke 21:4
There's an old joke about a man who leaves Church complaining to his son about the lousy music, the pastor's poor homily, the stone-faced parishioners, and all the other things he dislikes about his Church. At that point, the son pipes up and says: "Gosh, Dad, I thought it was a good show for a quarter!"
One who is stingy and miserly with God "brings ruin on himself" (Sir 14:9). He or she is the real loser, not the Lord, Who has everything. In one sense, we get from our relationship with the Lord what we put into it (2 Cor 9:6).
Jesus, however, is especially interested in "all-giving." He declares: "None of you can be My disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions" (Lk 14:33). We can't give all until we have given up all. We don't just give our possessions; we give our needs, our "wants," our desires. The poor widow gave from her want (Lk 21:4). What is your "want"? Do you want wealth, financial freedom, a new car, sexual fulfillment, popularity, or vacations? Renounce these and give them all up to Jesus.
At this level of "all-giving," we have given what we "could not afford" (Lk 21:4): our money, energy, hopes, means of support, lifestyle. When we give all, we are then empty; we "have no more" left (Jn 2:3). Jesus then fills us with a miraculous superabundance of His new life (see Jn 2:5ff) which comes only when we've "emptied ourselves" (see Phil 2:7). When we give it all to Jesus, He gives it all to the Father, Who fills us with new life, so through Him we "may be all in all" (1 Cor 15:28).
Prayer: Father, use me according to Your will. I am all Yours.
Promise: "They are pure and follow the Lamb wherever He goes." —Rv 14:4
Praise: In following the corporal work of mercy of burying the dead, St. Cecilia buried two martyrs and eventually lost her own life as a result of that act of love.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004