As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
The image of the “widow’s mite” has a special place in the religious imagination of so many parishes, schools, soup kitchens, thrift shops, and shelters. In truth, most every parish church community has wonderful older folks—widows and widowers among them— who form the backbone of parish life and outreach. They may be poor or rich, many living on fixed incomes. These good folks help parish communities and non-profit causes in a variety of ways… most often with little recognition. One widow I know spoke about how she comes alive just by sitting in the “quiet” of her parish church or in the “chapel” of her bedroom, praying for family members and the needs of others, sometimes saying the rosary, often just conversing with the Lord in her heart.
The daily prayer, practical service, and deep-down faith of these good folks build a powerful network of spiritual energy that envelops families, neighborhoods, and institutions of all kinds. Today’s gospel reading reminds us to thank these good folks and to hold them and their needs up to our good and gracious God. These special friends of the Lord are truly saints in our midst.
—The Jesuit prayer team
You are all we have; you give us what we need. Our lives are in your hands, O Lord, our lives are in your hands.
—Francis Patrick O’Brien, © GIA Publications, Inc.Please share the Good Word with your friends!