November 7

Reflection

Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
Mark 12:41-44

 

Jesus praises the utter self-abandonment of a nameless woman. She is a woman whom we would label as a victim. In her society, she is a vulnerable widow who is trapped in the economic and social injustices of her world. But, in giving her all, she exposes the whole system of acquisition and greed. She becomes a judgment on the selfish culture in which she lives and shows the way to a different world. Jesus, who is  the embodiment of that alternative world, praises her. He makes it clear that outer show is not a substitute for inner character, and, that the manner one gives is worth more than the gift.  A false show of piety is not acceptable and Jesus makes that clear to those in power.

Prayer

 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew my spirit.

Action

 Am I caught in the web of false values?
Do I accept the manipulative pious hypocrisy I see and hear?
Where can I contribute either in service or by sharing what I have?

Suggested Reading


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.”
Mark 12:38-44

When a society lacks God, even prosperity is joined by a terrible spiritual poverty.
Pope Francis

 To desire and expect nothing for oneself and to have profound sympathy for others is genuine holiness.
Ivan Turgenev

 Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
Desmond Tutu

 There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.
Leo Tolstoy

 Genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.
Charles Spencer

 Your life may be the only Bible some people read.
Author Unknown

 Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.
Henry Ford

 

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