Lord, may our relationship with you be of gratitude,
And action filled relationship that connects us with your
Mystery of self-giving and sacrifice.
The Lord upholds the widow and orphan. These are the words coming from the psalm of today linking the first reading and the gospel together. Our readings encourage us to live our lives not just for ourselves but for others, as Jesus did.
The first reading tells us of a poor destitute widow who shows great generosity as she sacrifices her last handful meal. The psalmist urges us to go into our innermost self to give praise to the God who has great concern for the poor, including the widows.
In the Gospel too, it is the widow who wins the praise of Jesus as he observes her give everything she possesses to the treasury in the temple. Jesus praises her generosity and he contrasts it to others who gave out of abundance/surplus. This action of the poor and powerless widow will guide our reflection today.
Why does Jesus praise the action of the widow? We can say also the widow in the first reading. The action of these two widows will remain an everlasting action to be proclaimed because they gave all they had, they trusted completely, they gave their very own lives and therefore, they symbolize Jesus who gave his very own and whole life for us all. Again, their actions gave glory to God and therefore they meet the realm of sacrifice.
Look at the community of Jesus. It was composed of all types of people the poor and the rich. Again the community of Jesus has a grieving father, the funny disciples who were slow learners, the unknown exorcist casting demons in Jesus’ name, the blind beggar Bartimaeus, the sad stories of Jesus suffering and death and the last very very little person, the poor widow who gives her livelihood and who give a connection to Jesus’ sorrowful moment that leads to his death/giving his whole life/being for our salvation (Mark 13 to chapter 16, the last chapter in Mark). This is what makes the action of the destitute widow remain forever proclaimed and powerful.
What Christian action can powerfully connect us with God and our neighbour? Mother Teresa of Calcutta will say love for the poor and the destitute; Saint Thomas Aquinas will mention the action of Penguin bird that pierces itself to feed her chicks with blood and then it dies, signifying the action of Jesus for our salvation and his Eucharistic nourishment he gives us. Saint John Mary Vianney will emphasize on the action of mass and making our true consecration to Jesus in the Eucharist to unite with him in his self-giving. A starving family will give their experience from a mother who cooks and serves the children the food and she has nothing remaining for herself. Saint John Paul II will tell you an act of self consecration to the heart of Mary.
During this week pray, for the act of responding to a generous God and imitate his generosity through your self-giving and sacrifice. Focus on the oppressed, the hungry, the orphan, widows and the marginalized. Reflect on your own hunger for truth, justice and on your ingratitude to God and others. Take an action of faith and trust. The powerless woman becomes so powerful because of her action of total trust and self-sacrifice.
God doesn’t need our things He wants our heart because where our heart is there will our treasure be also…. If we have a pure heart we will see God! “Blessed are those pure in heart for they shall see God”. Mathew 5:8: The widow gave from her heart which is why God mentions it and no one but God knows what we have to give really. Give/share from a warm heart and with warm hands.
Joy and Peace.