Some musings of mine, including reflections I share as a priest in the Catholic Church.
All views are my own :)
This blog is dedicated to Matthew in the hope that one day he will find it and remember the Good News that God loves him. Unconditionally.
It is also dedicated to a group of grammar school students who inspired me to break open the Scriptures in a new way. You know who you are.
By the Charcoal Fire...
Sunday, 8 November 2015
Can we say we tried?
I’m sure you’ve all heard Adele’s new
song “Hello” by this stage.
As I listened to it this week, the second verse caught my ear. I began to see it as a sort of anthem of the widows in our
readings today. The verse goes:
Hello, can you hear me?
I'm in California dreaming about who we used to be
When we were younger and free
I've forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet
For both our widows, the world had truly
fallen at their feet.
The dream had become a nightmare.
In those days, there was no social
welfare, no state support for those who were widowed. If you were a widow, then
it meant that the chief breadwinner in the family – your husband – was dead. No
husband meant a grim future. No son to support you meant no future.
So why did they do what
did the widow in the first reading give of the little she had to help Elijah?
did the widow in the Gospel give all that she had to the treasury and leave
herself with nothing?
These two seemingly insignificant women were stripped of
everything the world holds up as good for us - wealth, power, pleasure and
honour – and left with nothing.
And yet here we are some 2,000 years later and these two
and what they did is still being talked about.
Why? Because our God isn’t interested in wealth, power,
pleasure or honour.
Just look at the Cross.
That bloodied, broken God of ours on the Cross isn’t exactly
a shining example of wealth, honour, pleasure or power…
And yet, like the widows, Jesus gave up everything he had and
let himself be nailed to a cross.
Because he understood, like the widows, that we are called to
measure our giving
by how much we have
by how much the other needs
to measure our giving not by how much we have; but by how
much the other needs
That’s why God allowed himself to be nailed to a cross –
he knew that we needed him to do that.
God didn’t need the Cross - we did.
It’s why the widows did what they did.
For them it wasn’t about the little they had. It was about
how much the other needed.
And as for them my friends, so for us.
Thankfully, most of us know where our next meal is coming from, and the meal after that.
And thankfully most of us will put more than a couple of coins in the collection today and still have
something left over.
Most of us have at least some degree of wealth, pleasure,
power and honour in our lives.
Most of us. But not all of us.
That’s the challenge before us today.
Can we give because someone needs us to give?
ØIf there is someone who needs material
help, we are wealthy enough to help.
ØIf there is someone who has no one to
stand up for them, we are powerful enough to help.
ØIf there is someone who is being
treated badly, we are honourable enough to help.
ØIf there is someone who finds life
painful, we can help bring pleasure to their lives.
The widows gave because someone needed them to give.
Jesus gave because we
needed him to give.
We give because someone needs
us to give.
Adele sings in her new song:
“There's such a difference between us
And a million miles.
Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I've tried.”
Can we stand before God, stripped of
and our wealth,
(Adele image taken from https://www.freebirdnotes.com/uploads/prod_images/3adele-hello.jpg';
Yoda image taken from http://www.pbnsg.org/weight-management/2015/7/27/do-or-do-not-there-is-no-try-yoda)