“They all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had.” (Luke 21:4)
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus is in the temple again. His attention was drawn to a woman who put in two copper coins. To anyone who was watching, this woman had just put in the smallest amount of money but for Jesus, this woman had given more than others because these copper coins were basically everything she had. Jesus praised her great contribution because He knew how poor she was.
In a similar way, when we give to God, let us never forget that God knows how much we are worth, He knows whether we are giving crumbs from our table or whether we are actually making a sacrifice. In the eyes of others, our offertory may be much but to God, it may just be an insult. Now, bear in mind that God does not need our offertory. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world and all that is in it is mine. Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” (Psalm 50:12-14).
In giving an offering, we are not increasing God’s wealth but showing our love for Him. In one of the prefaces for Mass, we say: “Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to your greatness but profits us for salvation.” That is to say, no matter how big our offering may be, it does not add to God and if we decide not to give, it does not reduce God. No wonder St. Paul says: “Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Avoid treating God like a banker; His blessings are never proportionate to what we give. Jesus told us that God is a Father who “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45). Do not be deceived by anyone who tries to convince you that the greater your offertory, the greater your blessing. This woman gave all that she had to live yet Jesus did not pronounce instant riches upon her.
Bear in mind that your offertory does not have to be monetary. If you do not have money but there are other things you have that you can give. One example is your time. Spending one hour daily in prayer can be considered as an offertory worth more than gold. Think of it, there are many who cannot afford to sacrifice one hour for God every day. You can also give God your body; you can vow never to defile your flesh until you are married or never break your vows. I am sure God will appreciate this offertory more than millions of dollars. You can even decide that your offertory will be sweeping the church or cleaning the pews.
In today’s first reading, we hear of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who have washed their robes clean; “in their mouth, no lie was found.” Dear friends, do you realize that your offertory to God may just be a strong and firm resolution to stop telling lies? Know this, the more we lie, the more the truth comes out to disgrace us. Say the truth and shame the devil.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, train my mouth to always offer the truth. Amen.
Bible Study: Revelation 14:1-5, Psalm 24, Luke 21:1-4).