34th Week in Ordinary Time, Monday

In today’s readings we see two generous people who put God before their comfort: Daniel and the widow. In today’s First Reading Daniel knows eating the food and drink from the King’s table, food normally sacrificed to foreign gods first, would be blasphemy and idolatry, since in the mentality of the time eating such food is a sign of communion with the deity to whom it has been sacrificed. The food would probably also violate the dietary laws of the Israelites, since specific animals were forbidden under Mosaic Law. Daniel didn’t give in; he decided to put God first by being vegetarian, despite the risk it entailed, and the Lord blessed him.

In today’s Gospel a poor widow puts the house of God before her financial security. The Temple represented God among his people so by supporting the Temple she was supporting the Lord. We don’t know how things turned out for her, but it’s certain that the Lord blessed her for her selfless generosity.

Let’s examine our lives today and see whether somewhere in them we’re not putting God first.

Readings: Daniel 1:1–6, 8–20; Daniel 3:52–56; Luke 21:1–4. See also 9th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday and 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B.