"Taking a seat opposite the treasury, He observed the crowd putting money into the collection box." —Mark 12:41
Jesus corrected the scribes for devouring the savings of widows (Mk 12:40). Yet, when Jesus observed a widow putting into the collection box "all that she had to live on" (Mk 12:44), He did not say she was making a mistake but approved of her generosity. If it was wrong for the scribes to take the money, wouldn't it be a mistake to give it? Isn't the widow abetting the scribes' greed? Wouldn't it be better to give the money to somebody else who really needed it?
The Old Testament teaches it is harmful to give to a sinful and proud person (Sir 12:4). "With twofold evil you will meet for every good deed you do for him" (Sir 12:6). But in the new covenant, Jesus commands: "Give to the man who begs from you" (Mt 5:42). "If anyone wants to go to law over your shirt, hand him your coat as well" (Mt 5:40).
We may be worried about the alcoholic drinking up our money or a charitable organization squandering it on luxury items. But it seems possible that the Lord may call us to cast our bread upon even troubled waters (Eccl 11:1). Maybe the alcoholic or organization ought to be more worried about the convicting and transforming power of a gift given in the name of Jesus.
Prayer: Father, may I obey You even if I look like a "sucker." You gave Your Son to us although You knew we would abuse Your Gift. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us to be as trusting as you were.
Promise: "It is better to give alms than to store up gold; for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin." —Tb 12:8-9
Praise: Tim overcame temptations to acts of sexual impurity by praying daily devotions to Mary's Immaculate Heart.
Reference: (Our Father/Son Camp, June 17-18, 2005, offers an opportunity to lead your son(s) into a real love for Jesus. To register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004
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