THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WIDOW’S MITE - 4
June 6, 2015
Today’s gospel: Mark 12:38-44
“Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also
came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.”
(v.41b-42). Amount-wise, it was no-contest. The rich were
the more generous givers, right? Wrong. Here is Jesus’
judgment: “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in
more than all the other contributors to the treasury.”
(v.43). How does that figure? “For they have all contributed
from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has
contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” (v.44).
The rich probably gave 0.01% of their wealth, while the poor
widow gave 100%.
rich hardly felt what they gave; the poor widow went hungry
that day. Who then was more generous?
the those rich were in fact those who “devour the houses
of widows” (v.40a). But they strut around in the marketplaces
and synagogues (v.38-39). They probably made a big show in
putting large sums into the treasury, as well as in shows
of piety, as they “recite lengthy prayers.” (v.40b).
As hypocrites, “they will receive a very severe condemnation.”
(v.40c). And their big contributions are not going to help
them at all.
much should we give? The standard is a tithe, that is, 10%
of our income. But more than that, we should give until it
hurts. And further, we should ensure that our money does not
come from unjust acts against the poor.
time you go to your community or parish office to give money,
consider that Jesus “sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.”
(v.41a). So be generous, be humble, be righteous, be mindful
of the poor. Look at Jesus, look to the poor.