Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 12:39-44

In his teaching he [Jesus] said, 'Beware of the scribed who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted respectfully in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets; these are the men who devour the property of widows and for show offer long prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.' He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, 'In truth I tell you, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they could spare, but she in her poverty has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.'


It’s a matter of the heart: What fills the heart, self-concern or the hunger to honor God, the hunger to receive or the yearning to give oneself away in great love?

The irony in the story is that those who sought respect and greater wealth--with no concern for the poor widow--were empty, and they knew it. They relied on the externals of praise and public respect, petty privileges and greater wealth to fill their inner emptiness.

But the widow’s heart was full, feeling within the necessity of giving her substance to the wonder of the One who filled her.

She gave herself away and tasted the sweetness of pouring oneself out to the Beloved for the sake of love alone.

Love’s inner compulsion transcends rational thought. It stirs a great ‘must’ within: “I must do this.”

It doesn't calculate costs but is moved by an incalculable desire to love and serve the one, the One who fills and stirs the heart. This desire is the awakening of Spirit within our human spirits, the Spirit of the God who is Love.

The greatest human achievements, the most beautiful creations of human art, the most profound acts of courage and compassion, the quiet heroism of those who live with care and hope though no one is watching: These are the fruit of that fullness the widow well knew.

And Jesus, who was full of that same Spirit, saw it well and pointed it out for us, lest we miss knowing truest beauty and greatest joy.

Pr. David L. Miller

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