Reflecting on this Sunday's Gospel, one monk recounts the following:
I am reminded of scene from my childhood. It’s the morning of my birthday, and I have just come in with the mail, anxious to open my birthday cards. I’m tearing them open. There is one from my Aunt Florence, recently widowed; two crisp dollar bills fall to the table. Spoiled brat that I am; I pay little attention. My mom is there in a flash, “Who sent you that card?” “Aunty Flo,” I say. “Oh, God. Call to thank her now, please.” “Hi, Aunt Florence, thank you for the birthday gift.” My mother snatches the receiver from my hand, “Flo, you know you shouldn’t have done that. You can’t afford it.” Florence was living on a wing and a prayer; she had worked in a little hat shop; her husband my Uncle Ralph had projected movies at the local theater. They had educated two kids. She had nothing. The gift was huge. My mother understood. Like my mom, Jesus really understands as he watches the widow this morning. Compassionate mercy is enfleshed in Christ Jesus. It is he alone who really truly understands each of us, our context, our stories, our own need to be mercied by him. Jesus is gazing on us with mercy and compassion right now. He understands and he calls us blessed.
Photograph by Brother Brian.