Today’s Thoughts: Once again, in our Gospel from Mark, we find Jesus in conflict with the religious leaders of his time. Jesus seems to always be hard on the religious leaders of his day. The long robes, the honors they receive so willingly, clashes with Jesus' view of leadership. For Jesus their leadership is a shame, they “recite lengthy prayers” while at the same time, devour the houses of widows." Jesus’ vision of leadership, of being a religious person is about kindness, compassion, and authenticity.
We might ask what has gone wrong for the religious leaders? What is the temptation that takes them to self-righteousness and the externals of religious practice, and away from a heart like Jesus’ rich in mercy and hearing the cry of the poor?
When our story moves to Jesus' sitting across from the temple treasury, he becomes the teacher who gives us an image to remember for life. Jesus observes, "many rich people put in large sums," but then, "a poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents." Jesus contrasts those who "contributed from their surplus wealth" and the widow who "from her poverty, has contributed all she had."
Jesus offers us an honest challenging and liberating message. Having many things makes it difficult to depend upon God alone. Letting go of things, placing our lives in God's hands, allows us to keep everything in perspective and to give generously, "and not to count the cost."
Have a blessed, holy, and healthy Saturday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...