The Holy Scripture praises God for being ‘able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think’ (Eph. 3:20). Indeed, God can do far more than we expect or can imagine! The stories of the two poor widows in today’s first and gospel readings underscore the fact that God is ‘able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think’
In the first reading, the widow took the big risk of trusting in the words of a thirsty and hungry stranger – the prophet Elijah – and offered him not only water but also part of what would have been the last meal for her son and herself. But, what was the outcome? A great miracle! Indeed, she was rewarded with more than 100% of what she had sacrificed: the jug did not run out of flour, nor did the jar run out of oil before the day that the Lord sent rain! Yes, God is ‘able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think’!
Beloved, even in our generation, God is still providing beyond our expectations and imaginations. For instance, after twelve (12) long years of waiting for their second child, a woman delivered not just a child but twins. Another instance: after spending the last week of lectures and the revision week in the hospital and expecting an average performance in his exams, a student topped his class in that particular semester. Let me add a third instance: a 55-year old missionary priest then working in Ghana was told that he would not survive beyond five (5) years after he had been diagnosed of a bone marrow disease in 1988. However, the good news is that God has exceedingly prolonged his life. This priest is still alive thirty years (30) later, and aging gracefully!
Beloved, in a similar manner, may God refill our jugs of flour and jars of oil!
God’s beyond-imagination blessing may not always come in the form of a tangible miracle or an earthly reward; but in the form of spiritual rewards. This is a lesson we can pick from today’s gospel reading. The poor widow in the gospel reading (like the widow who helped the prophet Elijah) took the risk of offering her ‘last’ coins – all that she had to live on! Then, she was rewarded beyond her imagination, though not in a tangible form. That is, in the midst of some many people offering in the Temple, her generous offering caught the eyes of Jesus who then praised her! Beloved, in the midst of crowds of billions on this earth, may the Lord Jesus notice our sacrifice or offering done in secret; amen!
Furthermore, as the widow in the gospel was probably not aware that Jesus was praising her before his disciples, so though we may not be aware, may Jesus praise us before his angels and saints in heaven; amen!
Finally, may we eventually experience the greatest reward at the ‘Most Prestigious Award Winning Ceremony’ in the midst of the angels and saints in heaven! Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John K. Louis