This weekend in the gospels there is a clear message. We have to give God everything. In the first reading, we see Elijah coming to a widow. She doesn't have a husband to provide for her, and there is a drought. When he comes to her, she was just gathering twigs for a fire to cook her last piece of bread on for her and her son's last meal before they died. So Elijah tells her to bring him a cup of water and some bread. Which sounds very arrogant, but Elijah knows what he is doing. He is asking the widow to give all to get all in return.
There is a story about a little girl and a little boy. The little boy has a big bag of marbles and the little girl has a big bag of candy. The little boy is hungry (when are boys NOT hungry?) so he asks the little girl if she would like to trade bags the next day at school. That night, the little boy took out the best marbles, the ones he liked the best, and hid them under his pillow. He knew the little girl would never know. The next morning, he traded her the remaining marbles for her bag of candy. When he went to bed that night, he couldn't go to sleep because he kept wondering , "Did she hide her best candy from me?"
We have to give God everything to get everything in return. When we frantically clutch at our life dreams, we miss out on holding our hands open for God to pour graces into them.
Our God isn't like any other god. Other gods in ancient stories ruled from the Heavens and were feared by all. They didn't have any way to know what their mortal subjects were going through. In the second reading this weekend we see that Christ has come down as our high priest to offer His own blood for sacrifice! For Him, this sacrifice is personal. So He knows what we are going through very well.
Finally, in the Gospel reading there is the story of the rich people giving great amounts to tithe to upkeep the temple. Then comes a widow who drops in two copper coins, which equaled up to a penny. That was it. Christ turns to His Apostles and tells them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury." Which left the Apostles saying:
It's a pretty hard concept to understand. Because in our minds, more is more. But in Christ's mind, your giving is only comparable to you - not others. The time and talent and treasure that you tithe isn't good because it's more than so-and-so gives. It's good because it's the first and best fruits of what YOU have...or it should be.
Christ calls us to a strange path in the world's eyes. We give Him everything, and He gives us everything in return. This week I've really been struggling with giving over my vocation ALL the way to God. I know if I give everything to Him, He's going to transform my life into things I never could have dreamed of. But at the same time, in my foolish little mind I think that I have a better idea of what is best for me. Yea, right. So keep me in your prayers, if you think about it.
God Bless you all!