I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and by his appearing and his kingly power:
proclaim the word;
be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.
For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine
but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity,
will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth
and will be diverted to myths.
But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances;
put up with hardship;
perform the work of an evangelist;
fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well;
I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.
— 2 Timothy 4:1-8
He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.
— Mark 12:38-44
Peace be with you. Scripture can be both challenging and comforting. The words of Paul to Timothy gave me a cold chill as I read them this morning. Paul is trying to prepare Timothy — and us — for the challenges one can face as we seek to do the work God calls us to, and warns that at those moments, it is important to keep focused. We will not always see the fruit of our labors or how our seemingly simple actions done in faith can counteract the turmoil and unrest that may surround us (much like what is happening now), but in God’s time, faith-filled action will yield an abundance of fruit. Both Paul and the poor widow cited in the Gospel of Mark instruct us that at such moments we are to pour ourselves out, rather than hold back; we are to use the fullness of our gifts to do our part. God knows the intention of our hearts, recognizes our efforts and our gifts of selfless love, and He fortifies them by His divine power. Let us then “finish the race and keep the faith”. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.