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Surprising words of Jesus! How can I who have nothing give more than they who have much? Yet it is possible, since God Himself teachés it, for the great consolation of the humble and poor, to whom it cannot be repeated too often; to give of one's poverty and for God's sake to suffer greater privation, is proof of very rare, but also very deep, religious sentiment. And when we take into consideration that this act of supreme generosity is accomplished by a poor widow, who, after the custom of those days, was not allowed to earn a living, but was doomed to servitude and exposed without any protection to those Scribes and Pharisees that, in the words of the Saviour, "devour the houses of the widows”, we cannot help admiring and blessing the divine
the divine and human praise lavished on one belonging to the class of the “disinherited." And doubtless, it was not an isolated act of hers; for what constitutes the great value and the great beauty of virtuous deeds is their repetition. The will, for which the first act was perhaps a painful sacrifice, soon experiences its delights.
Are they, then, excusable who, under pre
text of poverty, refuse to give alms, when their very poverty enables them to "give more''? It is a grand donation that the factory or hired girl makes in the shape of a quarter or half a dollar for the church or the school, or when she lays aside her weekly contribution for the propagation of the faith. It means "giving more” when the poor laboring woman, who depends on the work of her hands for a living, takes the time to instruct a child in the religious duties, or embroiders the alb to be used by the priest at the altar. They also give richly who divide their bread with the needy, or wear patched and mended clothing in order to cover the nakedness of others.
And, in another order, they give richly who secretly offer their sufferings to God for the conversion of sinners and the deliverance of the poor souls in purgatory; or who forget their own sorrow to alleviate the pains of others ..... You who practice these things, rejoice! God looks down upon you and admires you; for above all He is the Friend of the humble and the Father of the poor and despised. Do you see how, here on earth already, He is occupied about them, how He
defends and glorifies them, and unceasingly recommends them to His disciples, saying: “Whatever is done to the least of my brethren is done to me''? In a sublime manner He shows His predilection for the multitude of unfortunates, women in particular. Those, dear Jesus, who are animated by Thy spirit, who have Thy heart, know it, and everywhere on earth try to imitate Thee, whilst Thy enemies think of nothing but how to lead the multitude, always a prey to their
vices and the dupes of exploiting charlatans, unto perdition. Thy friends, in order to follow Thee, occupy themselves quite differently.
In spite of nineteen hundred years of clamoring against it, the Law of the Gospel is so imposing and sublime that, of late, an infidel could not help rendering this supreme tribute to it: “The Gospel makes no class distinctions between the souls of men, and the most humble are lifted up by what for them is the highest good; tenderness and esteem. The Gospel is the epopee of the simple, an anticipated hymn from the Jerusalem of the poor and the miserable."*)
*) Challemel Lacour, Academic Speech of Sept. 25, 1894.
The eyes of the Saviour, the same loving and compassionate eyes that singled out the mite of the widow, are still on all who are abandoned here below.
JESUS DEFENDS HER AGAINST HIS DISCIPLES.
N the first day of the month Nisan,
or the eighth of April 29, Jesus left
Jerusalem. He went to Bethany, where Hearrived towards evening. For the last time He wished to pass a few moments of real, though sad, peace in the beloved circle of his friends who feel uneasy on account of the animosities which menace Him all around. He desires to receive from Martha and Mary and Lazarus the last testimonials of an attachment whose beauty Heaven and earth admire. He is willing, however, to take the