November 27, 2017 – Monday in the 34th Week of the Church Year

Saint for the day:Francesco-Antoni-fasani (August 6,1681 – November 29,1742)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy

Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20 – Daniel 3:52 – 56 – Luke 21:1-4

“Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” (Today’s Responsorial Psalm from the Book of Daniel)

 It’s only accidental that these Scripture readings for today’s liturgy focus on food, eating and monetary worth when we, in America, just celebrated our “Thanksgiving Day” with sumptuous meals and gala gatherings. When popular “health gurus” tell us “you are what you eat” we have to think what “thanksgiving” really means. I think we all know the Old Testament story of these young, Israelites who were brought into the kings’ service and who held on to their religious traditions by not eating foods that were sacrificed to idols.

In the end, they were thrown into the fiery furnace but miraculously didn’t die even though the flames burned up the workers who were stoking the furnace! I’ve always said that their being saved was the direct result of their singing songs of praise to the God that they knew was a loving, saving God. Their joyful songs of praise and thanksgiving brought a cooling breeze into the midst of the hot flames.

I dare to say, not many of us would think to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving when faced with some impending disaster. I know, for myself, that I would most certainly fall way short of such a noble act!

Then we come to this short Gospel and the widow’s mite. Jesus says, “… forget about all those others who have given out of their surplus …but she from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” (Today’s Holy Gospel according to Luke)

 We can’t forget that this isn’t the only time that Jesus has singled out widows and orphans as being those most in need of help from the outside. In scriptural terms – and in the times of Jesus – widows and orphans had no way to survive on their own. They couldn’t even pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. When she put in her two small coins she was asserting that she knew that God had a special care and concern for widows and orphans.

However, that concern of God can only come about when each of us looks deeply into our lives and decides not to turn our backs on the widows and orphans who are all around us in one form or another. Today’s Holy Gospel tells us that it really doesn’t take much – two small coins – or perhaps a helping hand or a smile or some other gesture that frees us from our built-in selfishness. You don’t have to look very far to find someone in need of God’s blessings that can come through us. Amen!

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