Two-Cents Worth – Good News for June 5

5 06 2010

Mark 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,

“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

The Daily Path: Looking for somewhere to send your two-cents?

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Deal Some Mercy – Good News for February 28

28 02 2009

John 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”

So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”

So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.” Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,  “Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” Then each went to his own house.

The Daily Path: Here’s a question for Lent. What can you offer up to God that will help someone else?

I don’t see how my giving up candy and ice cream does much to show love and mercy for another. In fact, the resulting downturn in confection sales might actually put someone out of work! Phew. Dodged that bullet.

Seriously though, a precious commodity in this society is our time. Giving up our time during lent to help someone in need seems to be a great way to prepare for the Resurrection of the King of Sacrifice. Find a way to share the burden of the cross that another carries.

Remember, it doesn’t take much. Don’t get caught up in a grand scheme that will never get off the ground. Keep it simple! Perhaps it’s only a minute to bend down and perform a random act of kindness. Consider ten minutes of prayer petitioning God to help someone you know. It can be an hour online researching non-profit aid organizations, while asking the Holy Spirit for inspiration on where you can make a difference. The point is to look for ways to give up your time in the service of someone who needs your help. 

Room to Chat: For the next 24 hours, open your eyes for one opportunity to help. Dealing love and mercy is cool!

Light Friday – Good News for November 28

28 11 2008

Luke 21: 29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable. “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.

Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away,  but my words will not pass away.”

The Daily Path: It’s been my experience that the spiritual journey is like the bud on a fig tree. You start out as a tiny little bump on the branch. Growth happens ever so slowly. Almost undetectable change from day to day. Then all of a sudden… KA-BOOM! You blossom! Out go your petals toward the sun and the next thing you know you’re a piece of fruit. “Now available on isle 5, baskets of Golden Delicious Faithfuls shipped fresh from God’s Garden©.”

Light Friday – As I craft today’s blog, millions of Americans are already hitting the stores for what is known as Black Friday… the day Holiday shopping begins in earnest. Here in the U.S., stores drop prices and open their doors at 4 a.m. to harvest the fortunes that will be spent on gifts.

This isn’t a commentary on the orgy of thoughtless spending that begins today. It is, however, a reminder of the good works that organizations like Toys-for-TotsCatholic CharitiesSalvation Army, and local food banks do at this time of year.

As you struggle with figuring out what useless gift you feel obligated to buy for Uncle Wally, please remember the families who will need help this year just to put food on the table. Or think about the motel rooms across the country where families will have a “Christmas branch” sporting a single ornament made from an aluminum can, that will serve as their Christmas tree. A “tree” under which no presents will reside.

Perhaps the best gift you can give Uncle Wally is a note telling him that instead of buying him the “Amazing Home Barber Shop,” the combo razor, shaving cream and cologne dispenser on sale for $19.99, you chose to give that money, in his name, to a relief organization. Perhaps old Wally will get a huge smile on his face, the same kind of smile those three children in a dingy motel room haven’t known since their father lost his job at the plant two years ago.  

How can we turn Black Friday into Light Friday? As we shop this year, please remember Matthew 25: 35-39.

Like the fig tree in spring, we can blossom in December!