The Greatest Gift

June 10, 2017
Saturday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Mark 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said,
“Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext,
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

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.”

REFLECTION (Sem. Philip Faustino S. Volante)

One very inspiring woman in the seminary is our cook Nanay Liza. Her day starts very early in the morning preparing breakfast and ends in preparing dinner for more than 30 people. Her whole day is spent in the kitchen, and you will not hear any complain from her. She whips up delicious food daily that keep the seminarians very healthy and still remain happy and game in all our jokes and anecdotes. Aside from being a good cook, she is also a co-formator. She is very willing to listen to our stories of struggles and we in return would hear her thoughts which are very practical and very wise due to her rich experience in the seminary and even beyond. She has been with the seminary for more than a decade now, and her commitment and her passion to serve the Church through the seminary is amazing. She is not just a cook, but she is a mother to all of us. Nanay Liza is like the widow in our Gospel for today, she gives not only what is required, but gives her whole self.

Our Gospel for today is teaching us that like Nanay Liza, we do not need to be rich to help other people. We need not be learned or have good credentials to be part of the Church. At this moment, what the Church needs is our presence more than anything else. We may ask, what can I give? I have nothing! It is not true that you cannot give anything because in reality, God has already provided us with what we can contribute to the Church. Aside from our talents and time, we are also given by God eyes for us to sympathize with the poor and the weak, ears to listen to trials and joys of those who have no one to talk to, mouth to utter words of encouragement and gratitude, and hands and feet to serve those in need. In life, what matters most is not how much one has given, but the sincerity that comes with the giving.

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