The first reading is the story of a widow who had a very small amount of food for herself and her son to eat in a time of famine. The prophet asked her to share some of the little she had.
Understandably she was very slow to do so but eventually, she did what Elijah asked. She shared the very little food that she had. In doing so she discovered that the Lord provided for her in abundance. We are reminded of another widow in the gospels; she put a very small amount into the Temple treasury but in doing so was praised by Jesus because she gave all she had to live on.
Both widows gave generously from the little they have. Both widows remind us that generosity is measured not by the amount we give but by what we give in proportion to what we have. Those who give a little can be much more generous than those who give a lot. Real generosity leaves us vulnerable. That was the generosity that characterized the life of Jesus.
He gave of himself unto death, death on a cross. When we display in our lives something of his generosity then we become what Jesus calls us to be in today’s gospel reading, the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Generosity can take many forms, generosity of heart, of spirit, of mind, as well as generosity with what we possess, whether it be our material resources or our time or our gifts.
The first reading suggests that whenever we are generous even with the little we have, we create an opening in our lives for the Lord to be generous with us. Amen
Fr John Peter