‘Tis the season to
decorate, shop, wrap, bake… Nope! This season of Advent is made for just the opposite: waiting, anticipating, resting, praying. It’s a beautiful season but so countercultural. I dare you to join in drop out and revel in the slow goodness of this beautiful season. I thought I’d share a few goodies to help you start things off right.
Although I have not written a new book of Advent reflections for this year (I’m currently editing the book I wrote for Advent 2022, so stay tuned for that!), I did write a series of Advent reflections for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. You can find the first one posted today: (more…)
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.” (Mk 12:42-44)
It would be easy to look at today’s stories (Sunday, Nov. 7) of the two widows simply as cautionary tales, there to remind us to be generous. But generosity is just a surface-level interpretation of what is laid out for us, probably because that interpretation is more comfortable and less inconvenient than the truth. The actions of these two women—relegated to the margins because of their status—focus not on if we give but how we give. The widow who makes a cake for Elijah has nothing remaining for herself or her son. Still, she trusts that all will be well and gives the last of what she has. The widow in the Gospel gives her last two coins, holding nothing back for herself.
It’s amazing how we can convince ourselves that we simply don’t have the time to do even the little things that might make our lives demonstrably better. We race through our days feeling too overwhelmed and overscheduled to pray, to pay attention, to pause. If we take a closer look, we’re likely to find we invest a tremendous amount of time — often unconsciously — in the very things that lead to us feeling disconnected and depressed.