THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (MEMORIAL)
He noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
Yesterday we celebrated the solemnity of Christ the King. Now we’re in the last week of the liturgical year, and the holiday season is upon us. It’s easy to be drawn into the worldly celebration of Christmas, and perhaps you’re already wondering how you can possibly observe a holy Advent during the upcoming busy weeks. It’s never easy to carve out time for more prayer during the decorating-shopping-entertaining blitz that strikes each year.
That’s why today’s Gospel ought to encourage you. Yes, there’s much to do to get ready for Christmas. Yes, the demands on your time can seem to increase exponentially. And yes, much of what clamors for your attention must be done by December 25. So if your time for prayer seems depleted by a long “to-do” list, give the Lord “two small coins” (Luke 21:2). Offer a few minutes of prayer, whenever you can. God knows your heart and all that you need to do, and he treasures every minute you give him out of your “whole livelihood” (21:4).
As you light the candles on the Advent wreath and pray before mealtime, offer those prayers with all your heart. Keep a Bible (maybe along with a copy of The Word Among Us) in your car or backpack, and glance at it as you sit in the inevitable holiday backups. Keep a rosary in your pocket to pray quietly as you stand in long checkout lines. Those precious minutes you offer to the Lord please him.
And if you have a wealth of time, wonderful! Lift up prayers and intercession for people who can’t pray—for those who must work extra at this time of year to make ends meet. For priests and parish staff working to help their people celebrate the season. Then rejoice and give thanks! But remember, it’s not the amount of time you spend with the Lord in prayer; it’s the heart you bring to that time, however much or little you have. Jesus commended the poor widow’s “mite” because of the generosity with which she offered it. He will commend you as well.
“Lord, help me to find ‘mites’ of time for prayer to offer you this Advent.”