Sunday, November 8, 2015

Showing the Face of God

The Word of God takes us back to a widow who is down to her last handful of flour and a tiny bit of oil.  Suddenly she encounters Elijah who asks: trust in God but first bring me a little cake before you prepare something for yourself and your child.

The widow faces a dilemma.  Trust in God’s providence and hospitality win; she gives all she has to Elijah. And miraculously, she has a never-ending supply.  
Widow with 2 coins

And in the Gospel, we hear about a widow who put her last two coins, a small sum, into the Temple treasury in Jerusalem.  Jesus comments that, in contrast to those who gave from their surplus, this woman gave “all she had to live on.”  

The Word challenges us to “trust in God and be generous with what we have.

 As disciples of Jesus, we ought to show the face of God in our everyday behavior, especially by living the beatitudes that Matthew sums up so splendidly in Chapter 5 of his Gospel.  I would like to think Jesus would say this about us.   

 “If you’re working to pay the bills, but making time to be with your children when they need you, blessed are you.  Heaven will be yours.

 “If you are overwhelmed by the care of a dying spouse, a sick child or an elderly parent but you try your best to make a loving home, blessed are you.  One day your sorrow will be transformed into joy.

 “If you happily give your time to serve at a soup kitchen, for the housebound, help a youngster with a classroom assignment; if you befriend the unpopular, the lost, blessed are you.  Count God among your friends.

 “If you refuse to take shortcuts when it comes to doing what is right, if you refuse to compromise your integrity and ethics, blessed are you – you will triumph.

 “If you try to understand things from the perspective of the other person and find a way to make things work for the good; if you’re feeling discouraged and frustrated because you are paying the price, blessed are you.  God will welcome, forgive and love you.

 “If you struggle to discover what God asks in all things; seek God’s presence in every facet of life and every decision you make; if your constant prayer is not ‘give me’ but ‘help me,’ blessed are you. God will always be there for you.

  “If you readily spend time listening to and consoling; if you manage to heal wounds and build bridges, blessed are you. You are nothing less than the face of God in our midst.

“Rejoice and be glad,” Jesus says, “you are the blessed of God.  In the end, heaven is yours."

May God give each one of us the grace to show the face of God to one another; yes, the way the beatitudes call us to do; and the way the two poor women in the Word of God did.  Heaven will be yours.

1 comment: