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

“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had.” (Luke 21:3-4)

In today’s first reading, Daniel, Hananiah, Misheal, and Azariah demonstrated what it entails to put God first. As a mark of their trust in God and keeping with their religious customs, they refused to eat the so-called rich food from the king’s palace. This decision seemed like punishment to the chief of eunuchs, but in the end, they were more nourished and healthier than others.

In the same vein, abstaining from sin today may seem like punishment, but in the end, anyone who puts God first will have the last laugh. This passage teaches us to abstain from behaviours against God’s commandments even though the world sees them as enjoyment. In this context, the king’s “rich food” is stealing, idolatry, fornication, lying, worship of money, cultism, adultery, indecent dressing, certificate forgery, and so on.

The fact that “everybody is doing it” does not make it right. Hold on to your convictions. For putting Him first, God did not disappoint Daniel and his friends. Learn to give God His due, and He will never disappoint you. Even if others laugh at you or call you names, remain different.

In our Gospel passage, a woman put two copper coins into the treasury. To the onlookers, this woman had put in an insignificant amount. For Jesus, this woman had put in more than others. Just as the king’s rich food proved poor in the end, the large amounts donated by the wealthy did not receive any applause from God. Again, like Daniel and his colleagues who punished themselves by rejecting the daily portion of the King, this woman punished herself by giving away all that she had to live on.

When we make such huge sacrifices for God, they never escape His consciousness. Some people have an entitlement mentality; even if you cut off your head and give it to them, they would say you didn’t cut it as smoothly as they prefer. God is not like that; He appreciates and rewards even the smallest efforts.

This woman could not have made such a sacrifice without a deep trust in God. This passage teaches us to have a child-like trust in God’s providence.

Saint of the Day: Blessed Santiago Alberione. He was ordained a priest on the 29th of June, 1907. He became director of the weekly publication known as Gazzeta d’Alba in 1913. On August 20th, 1914, he founded the Society of Saint Paul; on the 15th of June, 1915, he founded the Daughters of St. Paul. Blessed Alberione founded Sisters Disciples of the Divine Master in 1924 and Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd in 1936. These four religious congregations publish materials to spread the Word of God. They published more than half of all the spiritual books I have read.
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, give me the grace to stand out from the rest of the world. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be happy, live positive, and have faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (This is Monday of week 34 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Daniel 1:1-6,8-20, Daniel 3:52-56, and Luke 21:1-4.)

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu