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-translation
We are nearing the end of the Gospel of Mark which we have heard on most Sundays during the past year. Jesus is in the Temple in Jerusalem. Look at Jesus and then follow his eyes in today’s passage. Notice where His eyes come to rest. His gaze is fixed on a widow who is contributing two small pennies to the Temple treasury. Jesus points her out to his friends. “Pay attention to her” he says; “she has just given away her livelihood, everything she has to live on.”
Why has this woman captured Jesus’ heart and imagination? Does he know what prompted her to give away everything? Jesus is deeply moved by her utter trust that God will provide. Maybe she mirrors for him his own life’s mission: to empty himself completely for love. Is there something in my life for which I would be willing to give away everything?
—Fr. Paul Harman, S.J. is a Jesuit of the USA Northeast Province. He has worked in Jesuit formation and over many years has been a valued administrator at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA.
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, IncPlease share the Good Word with your friends!