The Great Faith Offering of the Poor Widow

Nov 7, 2018

Gospel Reflection; 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 
1 Kings 17: 10-16; Hebrews 9: 24-28; Mark 12: 38-44

The Great Faith Offering of the Poor Widow

Jesus often taught in the Temple.  Today we see him just sitting and watching.  He chose a particular spot, “opposite the treasury”.  There was a great offertory box of the temple.  His gaze falls on a poor widow who puts in two copper coins.  His gaze is rather striking.  Becoming a disciple of Jesus means learning to look at things the way he looks at them.  We must learn to see people, things, and situations with his eyes in order to be his disciples.

His disciples were scattered in this scene.  They must have found some things more interesting.  So Jesus is on his own.  But then he calls them together.  They are called together like the Church is called together.  Jesus, by his call, makes scattered and distracted people into gathered people.

He shows them something to which they have been paying no attention, something really important.  What is there to see, apart from her poverty?  There is something that only Jesus noticed, because his gaze does not stop with the externals.  She has put more than anyone else into the offertory – all she has to live on: literally her whole life – and he sees it.

This is exactly what Jesus wants to show them.  Jesus sets before his disciples this widow, who has given everything to God.  In her selfless sacrifice, Jesus sees a summary of his whole gospel, a summary of what he would soon do: give his life for us completely.  If Jesus’ disciples and we do not overlook her, if our eyes are alert to the poor and the little people, we will also understand what is Jesus’ inmost concern and what really matters to Jesus.


Father Tony