What “Mite” I Give?

Reflection for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Board Member, David Seitz, OFS

This reflection was originally posted in our November 5th newsletter


Mite I giveThe readings for the 32nd week of ordinary time call us to consider the question; What might I give? In each of the readings, and the psalm, the scriptures are challenging us to give. To give not only from our surplus, but to give in total; to make a total gift.

The story of Elijah and widow in 1 Kings is a favorite of mine. Elijah asks the widow for a gift of all that she had remaining in the world, her last bit of flour and oil during a severe famine. This widow made a total gift of what she had to Elijah, trusting in the providence of God. Result? God provided for her and sustained her through the rest of the famine, her jar did not go empty.

The Gospel reading from Mark is another story of a widow making a total gift of all she has. “The Widow’s Mite” is how many recall this story. The rich man gave of his surplus and made sure everyone knew of his generosity earned his reward on earth, while the widow gained an eternal reward.

What strikes me about these two stories is the most generous givers turned out to be those the Mosaic law called on the Jewish nation to support. The book of Deuteronomy, the book of the law, commands no less than 12 times that Israel must take care of and support the widow, the orphan, and the alien among them, the most vulnerable of society. Jesus often spoke out against those who tithe on mint leaves yet neglected to care for the poor.

Now for the real meat of the readings, Psalm 146. I do not have the space here to quote in total but in summary, the Psalm praises the Lord who cares for the oppressed, hungry, prisoners, blind, those who are bowed down, strangers, widows, and orphans.

St. Paul reminds us that “we” are the body of Christ. As the body, we are the Lord who cares for the oppressed, hungry, prisoners, blind, those who are bowed down, strangers, widows, and orphans. As the body, we are called to total giving as Jesus gave himself totally for all persons.

Sisters and brothers, this is our call to action! We must be the Lord’s two feet of love. We are called, with one foot, to take care of the immediate needs of those in need, regardless of race, creed, nationality or gender and create for them lives worthy of people redeemed by Christ. With the other foot we are called to engage in the field of public life to advocate for laws and policies that will create a just society that alleviates conditions which keep those on the fringe of society from coming into a more secure and sustainable quality of life.

What “Mite” I give? Support FAN financially so it may continue the work of engaging the leadership of our nation to create just laws and policies We must take care of the immediate needs of those on the fringe, but it is also important to create a society where those immediate needs become less frequent. Visit the FAN website and donate. Consider the 10 for 10 campaign and pledge your monthly gift of $10. Consider sponsoring a ticket to the FAN 10th Anniversary Award Benefit this month so a deserving immigrant or religious brother or sister can attend. If you have deeper pockets, consider sponsoring a table and purchasing an ad in the benefit E-Ad booklet. We must support both feet of love. Without both feet we are not able to stand in support of our brothers and sisters in need.

David Seitz, OFS
FAN Board Member

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Published in: on November 6, 2018 at 9:41 am  Leave a Comment  

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