23 Nov Happiness is Fleeting (Lk 21:3-4) by Kevin McNicholas
“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.'” ~ Mt 21:27 (full readings)
Kevin’s Reflections: The widow really made a great impression on Jesus in today’s Gospel, giving what little she had in order to please God. She wasn’t worried about material things, or even her own life, she wanted to give it all to God. What a demonstration of lived Faith, one that even made the Son of God proud! When I lost two different jobs in the past 3 years due to state budget cuts, our family learned in a very real way what it meant to rely solely on God, since our income was cut in half. I have since found a much more stable job that I really enjoy, but the reminder is always present of how little we made during that period, and in turn, we additionally found out how little we actually need! That was a humbling lesson to learn, but a very important one for our whole family. A favorite thought of mine springs to mind: “For it is in giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned, and in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.” This is one version I have read of the famous prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. I am really moved by the fact that our birth into eternal life comes only after our death to self, since there is great selfishness in the world today. So many people put so many things, material items that we cannot take with us, before their relationship with God. I truly believe that the culture of death and the culture of consumerism are very strongly linked, because the world tells us what things we need to have to be validated and be “happy.” The world’s variety of “happy” comes at the cost of others’ needs, even their lives. Happiness is fleeting according to what happens in each of our lives, but the Peace of Heart that only God can bring is what truly validates each of us. Our relationship with the Savior is what leads us to Heaven. As we approach Black Friday and Christmas, society’s most materialistic time of the year, please remember that everything we acquire, and everything we have is worth nothing in comparison to what we give. We can’t take things with us to Heaven, we have to leave them behind. I am going to pray today for the courage to work more towards leaving behind a lasting legacy of Faith with our children.
* Kevin is a School Social Worker in Southern Illinois. He and his wife Laura have been blessed with two living miracles: a 3 year old daughter named Elliana (“the Lord Answers”) and a 1 1/2 year old son named Jeremiah (“God is Exalted”), and one miracle now in Heaven, may our baby Jordan (8.12.15 – 9.3.15) rest in peace. They have also been blessed during the 9 1/2 years of their marriage to be able to visit Catholic pilgrimage sites worldwide, as well as to serve their Parish and community..
Faith Challenge: Rather than focusing on what you can get this Holiday Season, please find something you can give (time, talent, treasure) to make an impact on a person or family in need. We have no further to look than our own communities most of the time!
Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, LifeNews, American Family, Vatican, Project Rachel..
Our Prayers: Pray LIFE Runners Creed to End Abortion. Add Prayers. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, unceasingly. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day: Pope St. Clement I
Faith Quote: “If you follow the will of God, you know that in spite of all the terrible things that happen to you, you will never lose a final refuge. You know that the foundation of the world is love, so that even when no human being can or will help you, you may go on, trusting in the One that loves you.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI
All In Christ for Pro-Life,