In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation."
He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood."
+Prayer: Come Home Spirit, Come Holy Spirit, Come Holy Spirit- pray slowly. Hail Mary…
“He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.” In the RSV translation the word used is ‘watched’ instead of observed. I love the word used in that particular translation, because the word ‘watched’ seems less detached and calculating and more human. He ‘watched’ everyone and that included the widow. Be present there if you can, putting money in the treasury also, or perhaps, try to walk in the widows sandals, feel her poverty and generosity of heart-it is all she has to live on. As He is watching everyone, one catches his eye, in a very powerful way. He sees her heart, and her ‘unmeasured and generous love.’ “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” Only God can see the heart and so what does our Lord do? He calls His disciples close to Himself and shares with them what He sees, so that they don’t ‘misjudge’ what is the greater gift.
We need to listen to Jesus. We need to allow Him, to draw us close to His heart, that He may share with us what we need to see in the ‘other.’ Without this listening we run the great risk of judging by appearances failing to appreciate the hidden beauty of the heart of our fellow man. There are many who give from ‘their poverty’, from the little they have, and they feel inadequate when they do so, because their efforts or contributions seem so minimal compared to the ‘rich, powerful, successful and beautiful.’ But Jesus shows us true Beauty and wealth, by focusing our gaze upon the beauty of the other person, the goodness of heart.
+Prayer: Lord give me a pure heart, one that sees the goodness and beauty in another person. Let me not judge, but let me see each person, as you do, through the eyes of love. Lord, give me merciful eyes. Amen.