Reading: Truly I tell you,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21: 3-4.
Good morning, happy Monday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 21:1-4) we hear the story of the widow. (It is helpful to remember that today’s Gospel is a continuation from Saturday’s Gospel when Jesus was in the temple and the Sadducees were monitoring him and his teaching.) Jesus noticed that the wealthy people were putting offerings into the treasury. Then he noticed a poor widow who put two small coins into the treasury. Jesus was deeply touched by her loving generosity. He commented: “This poor woman put more into the treasury than all the rest! The others gave from their abundance. However, this woman offered what she had!”
Jesus is not interested in how much people give to the Church, schools, and other organizations. Jesus is looking for generosity of heart, not simply “generosity of wallet.” Compared to other donors, this widow’s gift was a pittance. However, the little that she gave came from her “want.” She was struggling to make ends meet, yet she freely gave to the temple treasury. Jesus commended the woman for her love and her generosity.
Often, those of us who have more at our disposal may not appreciate the richness we have: food on the table, a bed to sleep in, enough income to “make ends meet” and people who love us. Today Jesus calls out to us and says: “Be thankful for the ‘riches’ in your life: food on the table, a roof over your head and people who love you.” And Jesus also calls us to be mindful of the many people in our country and our world who do not have enough, be that food, money, housing, or employment. Perhaps today we can share with the individuals we encounter who may need some time, attention, resources, or care. Our time may be a great blessing to them. And we may find that this individual also is a great blessing to us!
Who do you identify with in this story? Those who casually give money that they will not miss in the slightest? Or those who give from the little they have. This can also include not just money, but giving of our time, energy, abilities to others even when we are tired or very busy.
In summary, there is a difference between giving alms and sharing what we have, our goods and good fortune with those who have less, a lot less, than us. Are you being asked to give of yourself today? How does this story impact on my life? Am I challenged by Jesus' words or attitude? Might there be some wisdom in this story for me? Have I ever been challenged to give in a way which was very difficult for me? Talk with Jesus about what that was like for me. In what ways or areas in my life do I see myself as ‘poor’ and as ‘rich’?