"These men devour the savings of widows and recite long prayers for appearance' sake; it is they who will receive the severest sentence." —Mark 12:40
Jesus accused the scribes of devouring "the savings of widows." Then He commended a poor widow for giving all she had to live on to the Temple treasury (Mk 12:44). This seems to be an odd thing to approve of. Why should a poor widow make herself penniless to subsidize the pompous pride and selfishness of the religious leaders? If you knew your pastor was going to "devour" the Sunday collection in prideful and selfish expenses, would you put much in the collection?
In a similar situation, Jesus allowed Judas to hold the purse for the apostles, although Judas would steal from the purse (Jn 12:6). Didn't Jesus know he was a thief? If Jesus did know, why did He let Judas keep the job? Wouldn't this be an injustice to the other apostles and to the poor provided for from the common purse? The Bible says: "Give to the good man, refuse the sinner; refresh the downtrodden, give nothing to the proud man" (Sir 12:4). Yet Jesus seems to encourage giving to the proud.
Possibly the solution to this dilemma lies in Jesus' attitude toward enemies. Jesus teaches us to lavish love on our enemies (see Lk 6:27-30). Possibly this takes precedence over refusing to give to the proud.
Prayer: Father, send the Spirit to teach me the word and to be like Jesus, the Word.
Promise: "From now on a merited crown awaits me; on that Day the Lord, just Judge that He is, will award it to me — and not only to me, but to all who have looked for His appearing with eager longing." —2 Tm 4:8
Praise: St. Boniface worked to reform the nominally Christian Church in parts of Germany. The groundwork St. Boniface laid in Germany thirteen centuries ago bore fruit in the life of a German priest who became a pope, Benedict XVI.
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2009
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