of God's Goodness
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Published: November 11 2012
Let us draw near to Jesus as he sits down, “opposite the treasury and watches the people putting money into the treasury.” How relevant is this story to our daily lives of today! The rich are able to give from their abundance and we are told many gave a great amount. By contrast, the “poor Widow” was able to give only two small coins. We can share the reflection which Jesus gives to his disciples and note the important message it contains:“ I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed.” Jesus seizes the moment in which to call all who will listen to him to go deeper into the meaning of the actions of those in this scene. Those with plenty are still in possession of wealth. The poor widow had so little and she has given it all!
How can we not fail to ponder the truth we are being offered in this vignette? It is a story familiar to the Jews where riches are so significant and the call to go deeper, in order to find the true meaning of riches, can so easily be obscured. The actions which Jesus describes in the first part of the Gospel narrative describe also the lives of the scribes. They “walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously...to take places of honour at banquets...swallow the property of widows”
Can these people and we ourselves really grasp fully the true meaning of life which is opened to us once we try to follow and live the mind of Christ? Jesus is living out this meaning as he goes forward to His Passion. He will be familiar with the words of Isaiah, describing the suffering servant who “empties himself to assume the condition of a slave.” He will be praying for the strength to give his very self in its totality for the ransom of the whole world. Jesus recognises his call to total self-giving as he observes the humility and selflessness of this woman whose inner strength transforms her outer destitution. All Jesus’ followers are called to do the same on a daily basis, gradually as life progresses, and finally in the self-surrender of death. In the Eucharist, we find our food for this journey and in the living word of Jesus, we find our inspiration.
Lord, we thank you for the nourishment you give us through your holy gift. Pour out your Spirit upon us and in the strength of this food from heaven, keep us single-minded in your service.