My Meager Offering

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Monday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

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.”
Opening Prayer: Dear Lord, I come before you asking for your guidance and wisdom in knowing how and when to give. Help me feel the tugging in my heart when your will is for me to give generously to others in my life, and help me to say “no” when that is your will for me. I thank you Lord, in advance, for giving me the confidence to trust you when it comes to assisting others with my time, talent, or treasure. Thank you for my many blessings. All I have is yours, Lord.
Encountering Christ:

  1. Does It Hurt to Give?: One day a priest and his friend were traveling together, and the priest remarked how much he loved ice cream. Later, his friend pulled into the Dairy Queen lot and asked Father what ice cream flavor he wanted. “I don’t eat ice cream,” Father remarked. Confused, his friend said, “I thought you said you loved ice cream.” “I do,” said the priest. “I love it so much, I deny myself.” In the Gospel, Jesus noted that all the others had made offerings from their “surplus.” One way to make a deep and genuine offering to the Lord is to adopt the practice of fasting. This habit of fasting reaps beautiful spiritual benefits. “…mortification aims at the “liberation” of man, who often finds himself, because of concupiscence, almost chained by his own senses. Through “corporal fasting” man regains strength and the “wound inflicted on the dignity of our nature by intemperance is cured by the medicine of a salutary abstinence” (Pope Paul VI, Paenitemini [Apostolic Constitution On Penance], 1966).
  2. Tithe versus Offering: The woman in the Gospel acknowledged with gratitude that all she had belonged to God. How often do we realize that we are merely stewards of God’s good gifts? “In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!” says Pope Francis (March 19, 2013). When we are grateful, like the widow, for any talent, treasure, or time God has given us, we are much more generous in giving it away to others. Let us thank God for every good thing and give our gifts away for him, according to his holy will. 
  3. A Unique Calling: In this Gospel the widow was poor, but the church has known several saints born into wealth who embraced poverty for the Lord, among them, St. Anthony of Padua, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, and St. Thomas More, a lawyer who was also remembered for his tremendous integrity. By the time of her death, St. Katharine Drexel was believed to have spent $20 million in her work with American minorities. Despite their wealth, these people became saints because they did what they felt was God’s will with their wealth. When faced with choosing money or God, they chose God.

Conversing with Christ: Dear Lord, my blessings are abundant. My time, talent, and money are gifts given by you. I want to generously give back to you, with a heart full of gratitude. Some days, I may see what others offer you and think my offering is small. But I know my blessings are unique to me. Help me to appreciate your work in me.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace, I will inconvenience myself or deny myself for you. 
For Further Reflection: For more information on St. Katherine Drexel and how she used the gifts she received to assist others, visit
Karen Meiman, a former newspaper writer, editor, and photographer, is a mother of four children and lives in a log cabin on fifty acres in Northern Kentucky. She can be reached at

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