About Give It Your All
This lesson plan encourages youth to consider how we use what we have. Do we use it to make ourselves good or are we generous in giving back?
Start by playing Penny Chin. This game requires youth to keep pennies on their chins without tilting their heads back. There is a trick to it! For details, see Penny Chin instructions.
Follow up with a couple of questions:
- How hard was it to keep the penny on your chin?
- Were you willing to look silly to do it?
In real life, most of us like to hang on to our money. It helps us have the things we need to live and to buy things we enjoy. But Jesus wants us to remember that we shouldn’t just use money to make ourselves look good. It is much better to be generous. In that way we glorify God.
Scripture Reading for The Widow’s Mite
Read the Gospel:
[In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”]
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 or Mark 12:41-44
Discussion for Give It Your All
In the first part of this reading, Jesus warns us against chasing after prestige, especially at the expense of others. The scribes enjoyed the respect they got as part of their position. They were very respected because of their knowledge of Jewish religious laws and traditions.
But Jesus is more concerned with how they treat others. Instead of using their positions to help the vulnerable, they focused on gaining the admiration of others.
He then sees a poor widow giving two coins. In a complete reversal, he praises her small contribution over the much larger contributions of the wealthy. The scribes are putting faith in themselves and their ability to impress others.
The widow gives what little she has. This is an act of faith in God. She knows what she has comes from God and she trusts that God will continue to provide for her. This it a more genuine faith than the pompous display of the wealthy.
Nobody but Jesus would ever honor such a small contribution as the widow gave. But he recognizes her act as an act of love and worship for the God who cares for us. She knows she is dependent on God.
So this is a lesson for us. When we look at what we have, we need to realize that all we have comes from God and is to be used for His glory, and not our own. We must be generous then in giving to support others.
Reflection Questions on Generosity
- Are we impressed when someone makes a grand gesture or spends a lot of money on something?
- What are some ways in which we can use money to impress others?
- How can we give in a way that does not bring attention to ourselves?
- What are some things we can give instead of money or material goods?
Challenge for Give It Your All
This week, make a generous donation of your time, talent, or treasure. Try to do it in a way that brings glory to God rather than to yourself. This might involve doing it anonymously or quietly or through another person.
Close by praying the Prayer for Generosity.
Pope Francis explains that what truly makes a person great is not wealth. It is a willingness to serve others.