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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Monday 34th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Rev 14:1-3.4b-5): I, John, looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound from heaven like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. They were singing what seemed to be a new hymn before the throne, before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been ransomed from the earth. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been ransomed as the first fruits of the human race for God and the Lamb. On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.
Responsorial Psalm: 23
R/. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The Lord's are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.

Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.

He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 24:42a.44): Alleluia. Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 21,1-4): Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasure box; He also saw a poor widow dropping in two small coins. And he said, «Truly, I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. For all gave an offering from their plenty, but she, out of her poverty, gave all she had to live on».

«She, out of her poverty, gave all she had to live on»

Fr. Àngel Eugeni PÉREZ i Sánchez
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, as it happens so often, small things go by unnoticed: small alms, small sacrifices, small prayers (jaculatory prayers); but what, at times, may look small and unimportant, it frequently represents the warp and also the culmination of master works: be it great works of art, be it the maximum goods deeds of personal saintliness.

Because these small things are mostly unnoticed, their bona fide intention is out of question: we are not to seek in them neither recognition nor human glory. Only God will discover them in our heart, in the same way as only Jesus could see the poor widow's generosity. It is more than certain that poor woman did not play trumpets to announce what she was doing, and it is even possible she was ashamed and felt ridiculous before the eyes of the wealthy, who, while offering splendid gifts into the treasure box, were making others feel admired at their liberality. Yet, that woman's unselfishness, that caused her to drop the two small coins despite her poverty, deserved the Lord's praise: «Truly, I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. For all gave an offering from their plenty, but she, out of her poverty, gave all she had to live on» (Lk 21:3-4).

The widow's generosity is a good lesson for us, Christ's disciples. We can be extremely generous, as the wealthy people that were «putting their gifts into the treasure box» (Lk 21:1). But, none of this will be worth the while if we only give “from our plenty”, without any loving or generous spirit, without offering ourselves along. St. Augustine says: «They looked at the great offerings from the wealthy and they praised them for that. And, even if the could see the widow later on, how many did notice those two coins...? She gave whatever she had, for she had God in her heart. But she had plenty, for she had God in her heart. It is better to have God in our soul than gold in the safe». Quite true: Let us be generous with God and He will be much more so with us.