November 8

Reflection

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

 

In this event, Jesus focuses on the utter self-abandonment of a nameless woman. She gives all. She is a woman whom we would label as a victim. In her society, she is vulnerable. As a widow, she is a victim of the economic and social injustices of her world. But notice what she does. She gives her all and exposes the whole system of accumulation and acquisition. She becomes a judgment upon the cautious, grasping culture in which she lives and shows the way to a very different world. Jesus, being 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. For Jesus, a false, self-centered piety will not do and he is not afraid to make 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

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.”
Mark 12:38 -44

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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