June 6, 2020
by Angela Maynard
Creighton University's Student Health Education and Compliance Office
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 358

2 Timothy 4:1-8
Psalm 71:8-9, 14-15AB, 16-17, 22
Mark 12:38-44

Celebrating Easter

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

In today’s gospel Jesus teaches about the scribes who are describes as those who “go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets.”  Scribes could be likened to a lawyer or professor in today’s society.  These were very important people with a prestigious place in society.  However, Jesus goes on to report that “they devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers.”  The scribes are in a position to take advantage of the vulnerable and they do just that.  Jesus reminds us that they will be severely condemned.

No matter where one goes today, there is social stratification.  The wealthy seem to get more while the less fortunate suffer.  The wealthy sometimes profit at the expense of those on the margins—sometimes because they know how to take advantage of them.

I fear that this may worsen as our world tries to respond to and recover from a global pandemic.  Can we work together for the greater good?  Will some recover while stepping on those with fewer resources causing further harm to those who are already suffering from loss of livelihood, loss of income or decreased ability to provide basic necessities for their families?

Jesus tells of the rich who gave some of their fortune while a poor widow gave a meager contribution, but with great purpose.  This gospel reminds me of an important lesson I learned from an outstanding theology teacher I had in high school.  This instructor was very dedicated to the mission of getting young people to understand their privilege while encouraging each of us to leverage that privilege for the benefit of others. We often heard about the importance of giving of your substance, not of your abundance.  Those words have been with me for many years.  Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful, just and peaceful place if everyone acted according to the lesson Jesus teaches today?

There are many good, generous people providing for the poor and neglected.  For that I am grateful.  However, I’ve witnessed too many decisions centered on money and prestige to the detriment of other. This is contrary to the teachings of the gospel. 

Just for today take some time to consider the giving that occurs in your community, your country and around the globe.  What is the reason behind the gift?  Determine opportunities for personal giving, not out of abundance but from substance.

Prayer for Generosity

Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will.

---St. Ignatius Loyola


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