THOUGHTS FROM FATHER ADAM
One of the truly incredible aspects of our faith as Roman Catholics is the devotion we have to Saints! We know and understand that Saints are those holy men and women who lived, in a heroic way, the Gospel of Christ. We just celebrated “All Saints’ Day” in our Liturgy, (one of my absolute favorite celebrations), and in some ways the lives of so many different Saints are on our hearts and minds these days. No doubt, we all have devotion to particular Saints and their life stories. We look to the incredible prayer life of St. Alphonsus, the steadfast love St. Peter had for the Gospel, or the legendary charity of St. Christopher; all these Patron Saints inspire our communities!
One of my absolute favorite Saints is a man named St. Martin of Tours. St. Martin was born at Savaria, Pannonia and came to Gaul as a solider. While he was still a catechumen, he one day, near Amiens, gave part of his cloak to a poor man who had asked him for alms. During the following night our Blessed Lord appeared to him clothed in the half of St. Martin’s cloak and said to him, “Martin, a simple catechumen covered Me in this garment.” After this dream, St. Martin dedicated his life wholly to Christ and later became a renowned Bishop. St. Martin is remembered for his zeal in spreading the Gospel, for his eloquence in speaking, but most of all for his charity and concern for all people.
The lesson of St. Martin is so important for all of us because it illustrates how we are called to see Christ in all our brothers and sisters. As Christians living in the world, we are called to care for all people regardless. In our world we need to reach out in love to all people. Sometimes we allow divisions to exist between us, even in between family members or past friends or communities. I think that we can learn from St. Martin in that we are called to see Christ in each person. There is no doubt that at times Christ can come in disguise; in the disguise of the poor, or those who are rude, or those who are not like us. However, it is in these moments that we must see Christ truly in our brothers and sisters. Let’s continue to see Christ in all the members of our community!
St. Martin, pray for us! God Bless, Father Adam
The context for today’s Gospel continues to be mounting tension between Jesus and the Jewish authorities. In the first part of today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus warn the crowds not to follow the example of the scribes in seeking honor and attention from others. It is important to recall that Mark indicates that Jesus taught these things while in the vicinity of the Temple in Jerusalem. Mark is setting the stage for Jesus’ passion.
Jesus then observes how Jewish pilgrims are making their contributions to the temple treasury. The Temple in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish worship in the time of Jesus. It was expected that observant Jews would make pilgrimages to the Temple to offer prayer and sacrifices. Pilgrims were also expected to make a financial contribution to the temple treasury.
As we would expect to be the case, Jesus observes that those who were rich contributed large sums to the treasury. Those with less means made smaller contributions. A similar situation exists in most of our parishes as well. Jesus calls attention, however, to a poor widow who makes the smallest of contributions—two coins of little value. Jesus upholds the poor widow’s offering for his disciples’ consideration, commending her because her small offering was an act of profound generosity, giving from her livelihood rather than her surplus.
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