Today’s gospel passage is the parable of the widow’s mite. Afterwards is the commentary of the Bishops’ website.
Gospel Mark 12:38-44
This poor widow has put more in than all of them.
In his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’
He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them,
‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Gospel Reflection Saturday, Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 12:38-44
In the gospel reading, Jesus observes two kinds of gifts being given to the temple treasury. Some rich people put a great deal of money into the treasury. Yet, it was the widow’s gift of two small pennies that caught Jesus’ eye. Even thought her small gift was worth little, it was the most valuable gift of all, because in giving that small sum, she gave her livelihood. She literally gave her life. She may have been understood by the evangelist as an image of Jesus who would soon give his life to God on the cross as a ransom for many. Jesus very deliberately points this widow out to his disciples. It is very likely that if Jesus had not pointed he out, his disciples would not have paid any attention to her. This window was one of the invisible people of the time. The passage reminds us that it is often the people who are least noticed who have the most to teach us. The quality of their goodness and generosity is never on public display; it is hidden and more often than not it goes unrecognized. We live among such people without always knowing it. We may hear things about them after they have died that we never suspected while they lived. The gospel reading suggests that the quality of goodness and generosity that may be invisible to us is always visible to the Lord. He notices even if we do not.
The Gospel reflection comes from WEEKDAY REFLECTIONS: To know the love of Christ 2016/2017 by Martin Hogan published by The Messenger c/f www.messenger.ie