Monday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time


What is the treasury? It is the contribution of the faithful, the bank of the poor, and the refuge of the needy. Christ sat near this and, according to Luke, gave the opinion that the two mites of the widow were preferable to the gifts of the rich. God’s word preferred love joined with zeal and generosity rather than the lavish gifts of generosity.
Let us see what comparison he made when he gave such judgment there near the treasury, for with good reason he preferred the widow who contributed the two mites. That precious poverty of hers was rich in the mystery of faith. So are the two coins that the Samaritan of the Gospels left at the inn to care for the wounds of the man who had fallen among robbers. Mystically representing the church, the widow thought it right to put into the sacred treasury the gift with which the wounds of the poor are healed and the hunger of wayfarers is satisfied.1


Although the spite of some people does not grow gentle with any kindness, nevertheless the works of mercy are not fruitless, and kindness never loses what is offered to the ungrateful. May no one, dearly beloved, make themselves strangers to good works. Let no one claim that his poverty scarcely sufficed for himself and could not help another. What is offered from a little is great, and in the scale of divine justice, the quantity of gifts is not measured but the steadfastness of souls. The “widow” in the Gospel put two coins into the “treasury,” and this surpassed the gifts of all the rich. No mercy is worthless before God. No compassion is fruitless. He has given different resources to human beings, but he does not ask different affections.2


The voice of many waters and of thunder and of the harpers indicates the penetrating clarity of the singing of the saints and of the harmonious and melodious euphony of their song, which resounds throughout “the assembly and festal gathering of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven” and which, just as in the harmony of strings, sounds forth with the united breath of the saints and is accomplished by the dying of the desires of the body.3


The loud voice of the saints is the great devotion of love, which he says he heard from heaven. When he said that those who uttered the voice stood on Mount Zion, it was to indicate that by Mount Zion he referred to nothing other than the church who, encouraged toward overcoming the distresses of her afflictions by the sublime joy of the contemplation of her king, celebrates [his] struggles at the same time by praise and by imitation. This is truly to sing to the Lamb who is standing [on Mount Zion].… Although all the saints are harpists of God, who crucify their flesh with its vices and lusts and praise him with psalter and harp, how much more are they who, by the privilege of an angelic purity, render themselves totally a sacrifice to the Lord and in a particular way deny themselves and, taking up their cross, “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.”4


  1. LETTERS TO LAYMEN 84.  Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 316). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  2. SERMON 20.3.1.  Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (pp. 316–317). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  3. COMMENTARY ON THE APOCALYPSE 14.2–3.  Weinrich, W. C. (Ed.). (2005). Revelation (p. 216). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  4. EXPLANATION OF THE APOCALYPSE 14.2.  Weinrich, W. C. (Ed.). (2005). Revelation (p. 216). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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