10th Week, Tuesday, Jun 9th

1 Kings 17:7-16 / Matthew 5:13-16 
A poor widow feeds Elijah: Her faith and generosity were rewarded.

The story of the widow in today’s reading must have made a deep impression on Jesus. He referred to it in the very first sermon he preached in his hometown of Nazareth. (Luke 5:25-26)
It’s easy to see why the story would have made a deep impression on him. It’s a beautiful tale of faith and generosity. The widow gave away what she had every right to keep. She gave away that which stood between her and starvation. Moreover, the widow gave it away because she trusted Elijah. She believed him when he told her not to worry because God would provide for her.
How trusting are we when it comes to other people—and God? “The man who trusts other men will make fewer mistakes than the one who distrusts them” Ardis Whitman
The ways of the Lord are indeed wonderful and marvellous to see. Yet for the rich and secure, for those who had no dire need, the ways of the Lord are hidden from them. But for the poor and the lowly and the needy, the Lord shows them signs and wonders.

The 1st reading shows us how the Lord takes care and provides for those who obey Him and trust in Him. In a dire situation like a famine, the widow could have cared less about Elijah, and just go on with her last meal with her son and then wait for death. Nobody would have bothered about hospitality or concern for neighbour. It was each for for his own survival; so it was then, and so it is now. But the widow obeyed the voice of the Lord and, putting her life and the life of her son and their needs aside, attended to Elijah.

Hence to be the salt and light that Jesus was talking about in the gospel, we have to learn from the wonderful and marvellous example of the nameless widow of the 1st reading. We need to be lowly and ordinary like the salt, and yet humble even when we are shining like the light. Only then will we see the wonders and the marvellous works of the Lord.
Tuesday June 9

Tuesday of 10th Week of Ordinary Time


To show how great Elijah was as a prophet, the Elijah cycle in the book of Kings shows how he rewarded the widow by seeing to it that she did not suffer from the lack of food during the famine. Later he will restore her son to life.
During the communist regime in Poland, only a dozen or so Catholic secondary schools for girls remained under the direction of religious sisters. They had to follow the state program without any religion. When asked whether there was still any sense in their work, a sister directress answered: “We stay with the girls, we are a presence among them. If we try to be good Christians, we automatically let the light shine. Light is its own proof. One has not to talk about it.” Her words echo those of Christ in the gospel. A Christian has not necessarily to preach from a pulpit. Authentic Christian living is a proclamation all by itself.

Penitential Rite:
-As you feed and protect us in our depravity and poverty, as you did to Elijah, LHM
-As you call us to share even out of our poverty as you made the widow of Zarephath do, CHM
-As you call us to become the salt and light of the world, LHM

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
your Son asks of every disciple
to be the salt and the light of the world.
Season our lives and words
with the salt of the gospel,
that all those who encounter us
may taste how good it is
to live in your love
and to work in joy and hope
towards a world and a heaven
of justice, peace and friendship.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

When Elijah insisted on a part of the small quantity of food that the widow of Zarephath possessed, he is not unmindful of her own need. He assures her that in providing for him in his want, she will be amply provided for. She goes to fetch for him the water and cake requested, in the midst of a crippling drought that had left the land hard and dry. Initially she had denied his request. But when he assures her that the God of Israel will reward her generosity with an unfailing supply of oil and flour, she quickly complies.
There are moments in life when we are called to step out in faith. It may be when the salt has become flat and the light dim. But in giving our “Yes” to God, his generosity will not be diminished. Christianity is not an esoteric faith, a set of beliefs destined only for the enlightened. It is to radiate throughout the world, and we are called to be its emissaries. At times it seems easier to hold on to our faith tenaciously and ignore our role in the world. But if the salt goes flat, it has no value. And if the light is encumbered and not placed on a lamp stand to be seen, it will never attract the human spirit.
The widow gained biblical prominence because she gave of the little that she had. We become salt and light when we let God’s goodness show forth in our lives. It is always better to light one candle than to curse the darkness!

Points to Ponder
Sharing our little with confidence in God
Letting conviction show forth in what we do
Images of salt and light.

– That in the Church there may be men and women today who show us something of the face of God by their goodness and concern for the poor and the little people, we pray:
– That in our communities we may be like the salt that preserves among us a sense of service and commitment to one another, we pray:
– That we may not be blind to the needs of the poor and those suffering and help them carry their burdens, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Our God and Father,
you give taste to our lives
through the bread and wine of your Son,
for they steep us in his love and faithfulness.
Do not allow us to lose our savor
but give it more vigor to use it to preserve in this world
the goodness and dedicated love
which you shown us in your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
the words spoken by your Son
have been a light on the path of life
and his body our source of renewal.
Do not allow us to hide the light
of his self-forgetting, faithful love
but let it shine in us,
that people may see in us
a reflection of his goodness
and give praise to you,
our God for ever and ever.

“I am the light of the world,” said Christ, and he says of us too: you are, you must be, the light of the world. Let your faith shine and inspire, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.