the widow’s and the orphan’s goods while making a show of long prayers. How severe a sentence they will receive!” Jesus sat down
opposite the Temple treasury and watched the people dropping money into the treasury box; and many rich people put in large offerings. But a poor
widow also came and dropped in two small coins. Then Jesus called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than
all those who gave offerings. For all of them gave from their plenty, but she gave from her poverty and put in everything she had, her very living.”
READ: Jesus teaches the people to be on guard against people profiting from their
religious position and making a show of their piety. He also commented on offerings
that flows from a generous heart no matter how small is superior to big offerings
that comes from surplus and will not be missed.
REFLECT: Why do we preoccupy ourselves with externals rather than cultivate
our inner life? It is because they provide instantaneous reward of respect, awe and
sometimes fear. And the externals are easily managed. It can be staged and faked.
That is why people desirous of praise or envy of others flaunt their acquisitions
through the office they hold. They need to have clothes that speak of power, authority
and wealth. They are conscious of the hierarchy of power and privilege. They will fight
tooth and nail to get ahead of others if they can. That is why the religious authorities
of Jesus’ time developed clothes of power to distinguish them from mere mortals.
They make a show of their fasting and abstinence, of their offerings and long prayers.
They even make a show of their privileged position during gatherings. That is why
Jesus warned His disciples of this staged importance. He pointed to the widow
whose quiet dignity allows her to offer the little she had with her whole heart. She
is not diminished by the pompous offerings of the rich compared to her own little
offering. It is not the outward acts that gives her strength. It comes from within her.
Therefore, it could not be robbed or affected by external competitions.
RESPOND: We are sometimes prone to show off to attract attention. We do this
consciously or unconsciously. Perhaps we could meditate on why the poor widow
could be dignified despite her material poverty. In doing so, may we find the
wellspring of our human dignity. It is not on what we have but who we are as a person.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2021