Sunday November 7

Gospel of Mark 12:38-44

This poor widow has put in more than all

In his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’

He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’

In this gospel I am drawn to imagine the love Jesus has for this woman as he watches her give everything she has.

Giving everything I have is a love response. It is not a conditional or transactional relationship. Love can’t be watered down. This woman must have given out of love.

It reminds me of times I have watched parents and grandparents giving everything they have to their children and grandchildren.

It reminds me of the numerous stories we have heard during this pandemic of teachers and health workers giving everything they have in service of another.

Most often none of this ‘giving all’ is witnessed.

However, we learn in this Gospel that Jesus sees it all. He invites his disciples to see this kind of service in others too. I ponder what difference does this make?

I am drawn to prayer and I enter this Gospel with my imagination?

Where do I find myself in the scene? Can I imagine the treasury? The rich and poor people; the coins being collected. Where is Jesus sitting?

What can I hear and see?

I reflect on what I am feeling and listen to God’s desire deep within my heart.

I ponder how I can give from a place of freedom like the widow.

I ponder how I too can witness this giving in others. To see with the eyes of Jesus. To hope with the faith of this poor widow.

I pray for an increase in faith, hope and love in my heart and in our beautiful but troubled world.