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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Feastday: November 11

He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood (Mark 12:41-44)."

(...) Moreover, I must tell you that it is not the size and greatness of deeds which give them merit, but the pure intention with which they are undertaken. The Gospel gives us a beautiful example of this. The Evangelist St. Mark relates that Jesus Christ, on entering the temple one day, beheld how the people cast money into the receptacle for offering, and He saw that many that were rich cast in much. Then He saw how a poor widow approached the receptacle humbly, and cast in two mites. Thereupon, Jesus Christ, calling His disciples, said to them: "Behold, many persons have cast considerable alms into the almsbox and see there also a poor widow who has only cast in two mites. What do you think of this difference? To judge by appearances, you think, perhaps, that the gifts of the rich have more merit; but I tell you that this widow has cast in more than all of them; for the rich cast in of their abundance, but she of her want hath cast in all she had. Most of the rich sought glory before men, and to be thought better than they were, while this widow hath given to please God alone." A beautiful example, dear brethren, which teaches us with what pure intentions and with what humility we should perform all our actions, if we desire to be rewarded for them. Certainly, God does not forbid us to perform our works before men, but He desires that they should be done for His sake alone, and not for the sake of the glory of the world.
St. John Marie Vianney, ON TRUE AND FALSE VIRTUE

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