One thought that sometimes enters a person’s mind as we weekly (hopefully, not weakly!) worship our Lord in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is “How am I being fed?” Unfortunately, it’s natural for us humans to think first of ourselves and second of others. Even in our acts of charity there can be an element of “Look at me; look at what I am doing for others.” Really?… Surely, not I, Lord!
Let’s take it a step further. How often do we project our personal needs onto others, especially clergy, and (mis)-judge them and their motives? “I wish he were funnier.” “I wish he were more serious.” “He doesn’t give enough personal attention to me.” Notice which way the arrows-of-attention are pointing. If each of these statements were drawn as an arrow, then each of them would be pointing at ME. It’s our thoughts and, especially, our speech that give us away and expose the “treasure” of our hearts.
Are these challenging thoughts? Of course.
The widows in the first reading and the Gospel are a contrast to the Scribes and Pharisees. It doesn’t take much elaboration to understand the contrast. The humility of the widows who give the last of what they have compared to the desire of the Scribes and Pharisees to gather more attention and respect for themselves is obvious. What is not so obvious – Warning: this is scary! – is how much we can be like the Scribes and Pharisees. Check the arrows.
Holy Mother Church, the Bride of Christ, with Graces bestowed through the Sacraments, (s)Mothers us with God’s Love and Life so abundantly that no one can ever complain about “not being fed.” Hmmm…
St. Paul tells us that Jesus will bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him. This is a posture that requires I empty myself of all desire for self-satisfaction and attention and become poor in spirit so that I might inherit (not grab by my own actions) the Kingdom of God. This is a posture filled with words, thoughts and deeds whose arrows point outward, rather inward. Ouch!