Jesus 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.” (Mk 12:41-44)
Today’s readings speak to us about sacrifice. They recount stories of people who gave, who gave from their very want, and who, because they gave, were greatly rewarded. That is the “miracle” of stewardship: the more that one gives, the more God returns to the giver.
I think it is because God knows that the giver is not going to hoard the gift but will, rather, give it away to benefit someone else.
However, it is very frightening to give away all that we own.
The widow of Zarepath had no real reason to believe that she and her son would be provided for if she gave from the last of her food to a stranger (Elijah, the prophet). Yet, she trusted his words, gave of the last of her food, and was able to eat — she and her son, as well as the prophet — for a year. Many did not survive the famine; but, she and her son did.
The widow in today’s Gospel gave the last of her money as a contribution in the temple. Jesus saw it, recognized it, and used her as a shining example of giving from one’s want.
God gave the very best that He had as well. He gave His Son, Jesus, to us. Jesus gave His live for us. Sacrifice doesn’t get any deeper than that.
FAITH ACTION: Spend some time in prayer today identifying the many gifts with which God has blessed you. Determine how much you have been holding back and make a plan to share your gifts with others.
[Speaking of giving, please pray, as well, for Jordan Fetcko who will give his life in service to the people of the Diocese of Gary as he is ordained a priest this morning at Holy Angels Cathedral.]