Jesus continues His teaching in the Temple with a contrast between unholy behavior (pride and greed) and saintly behavior (humility and generosity).

Though Jesus recently praised a scribe (Mark 12:34), He also pointed out the scribes’ inability to fully interpret Scripture (Mark 12:35-37).  Now, Jesus condemns scribes who pridefully seek honor in the marketplace, synagogues and banquets.  He also condemns scribes who greedily twist prayers to steal homes from the venerable widows whom Scripture demanded receive special care (Deut 24:17); when Christ said the Temple had become a “den of thieves” (Mark 11:17), He was certainly referring to these evil scribes.

In contrast, Christ draws His disciples together to teach them about the need for humility and extraordinary generosity.  Rather than praising the rich who give large amounts in a showy way, Jesus praises the humble widow, who though desperately poor, makes a heroic act of faith by giving extravagantly to the Temple treasury.

Awed by Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ, the Divine Prophet, with strong courage, publicly rebukes the powerful scribes for their craving for honor and thievery from poor widows; as Divine Judge, He condemns the evil scribes.  Divine Leader and Teacher, Jesus calls His disciples and instructs them on the kind of humility and generosity that impresses Him, using the example of the widow’s mite, a masterful teaching that still resonates today.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Many men in today’s “pride” culture have a pathetic craving for honor as demonstrated by the childish “celebrations” in sports, flashy displays of cars and clothes or the relentless self-promotion of celebrities. Examine how pride has contaminated your own life and go to Confession.

2) Like the unmanly scribes who exploited women, today, many men denigrate women directly (e.g. insults, abuse, abandonment,etc.) and indirectly (e.g. watching pornography, harboring anger, etc.).  Think about a few concrete steps you can take to lift up the dignity of women.

3) Christ praises those who stretch to make financial sacrifices for the Church.  Many Catholic men either don’t give or give trivial amounts to the Church. Resolve to make sacrifices and give generously to Christ’s Church.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope