Our readings this week explore the concepts of generosity, humility and self-giving. With the help of the Holy Spirit, they encourage us to live our lives as generously as Jesus did.

The First Reading tells us of a poor destitute widow who shows great generosity in her willingness to share what she has with the prophet Elijah, even though widows were among the most vulnerable people in biblical times.

In the Gospel, too, it is a widow who wins the praise of Jesus as he observes her give everything she possesses to the Temple treasury. He contrasts this woman’s action of deep faith and generosity with that of others, whose behaviour he roundly condemns. Jesus holds her up as a role model to his disciples.

The letter to the Hebrews explains how Jesus undertook an even greater sacrifice, and as the compassionate high priest, offered the gift of his own life for the salvation of humankind. (Second Reading)

The Psalmist encourages us to call on our innermost self, our ‘soul’, to give praise to God: our true God who has great concern for the poor, including widows and orphans.

Let us pray this week to the Lord who supports the vulnerable and poor for the grace to be his instruments on earth. We ask for his help to show our care for the outcasts and marginalised of our own day through our loving actions.