Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

No Show Off, But Sacrifice

Once I received an email, asking for the parish account details.  Someone wanted to make a donation to the parish.  I obliged.  Sure enough I received a handsome amount of twenty-five thousand dollars.  It was given towards the much needed repair of the Church.  There was no appeal for money  made and the payment was totally the donor’s initiative.  Therefore, it was a surprise.  But there was more to the story.  The name on the email did not ring any bells.  Therefore, I wrote back asking for an introduction from the donor.  The reply was incredible.  The donor said, “I am a single mother and a parishioner.  The mortgage was too much for me to bear.  Therefore, I had to sell the house and move into a rented place. Now that I got some money from the sale of the house I wanted to help the church.”  I was stunned to read it; a single mother struggling to pay her mortgage sells her house and helps the church from the proceeds.  At that time, I told her that the church is not desperate for money.  Yet she wanted to maintain the donation!  She made a donation from what most people would have considered critical for the security in life.  I could see that her faith in God’s providence weighed much more than the glamour of wealth and the approval of the people.

 Jesus once told the parable contrasting the contribution of a poor widow and that of the rich people (Mark 12:41-44).  The rich and the pompous are able to splash money and win admiration.  The widow made a small contribution but it amounted most of her livelihood.  Because of her selfless giving, the widow, unlike the rich, was praised by Jesus.  God who reads the secrets of our hearts reward us accordingly.  The life of a Christian is not to be a show off, but to be consisted of genuine sacrifices.