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Luke 21:1-4

The Word of God

Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on." 

Luke 21:1-4
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • How does this story impact on my life? Am I challenged by Jesus' words or attitude? Might there be some wisdom in this story for me?
    • Have I ever been challenged to give in a way which was very difficult for me? Talk with Jesus about what that was like for me. In what ways or areas in my life do I see myself as ‘poor’ and as ‘rich’?
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    • n this gospel Jesus puts the poor widow up as an example of someone who put her total trust in God’s providence. She gave everything to him.
    • Who do you identify with in this story? Those who casually give money that they will not miss in the slightest? Or those who give from the little they have. This can also include not just money, but giving of our time, energy, abilities to others even when we are tired or very busy. There is a difference between ‘giving alms’ and sharing ourselves, our goods and good fortune with those who have less, a lot less, than us. Are you being asked to give of yourself today?
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    • Preaching on this, Pope Francis said: ‘Faced with the needs of others, we are called to deprive ourselves of essential things, not only the superfluous; we are called to give the necessary time, not only what remains extra; we are called to give immediately and unconditionally some of our talent, not after using it for our own purposes or our own group’.
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    • How often do I feel I am not doing enough when I compare myself to others! Today Jesus invites me to ask myself how God, who knows my heart, looks at me and my efforts.
    • The amount of what I do is not that important for God, for what matters is my generosity, what lies in my heart. I ask God for an open heart, ready to give all as this poor widow of the Gospel.
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    • Being poor, the widow knew the value of what she gave generously. If I am aware of how little I have to offer, may it not stop me from improving the situation of those who have even less.
    • A simple act was able to open Jesus to appreciation, to see the woman's action as an invitation to live with trust. I ask God to help me observe what is going on around me, to recognise and to appreciate even small actions of love and care.
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    • Jesus often shows himself to be an acute observer of what is going on around him. He also has the ability to present his teaching through commenting on what he sees. This is what is happening here as he sits in the temple.
    • Jesus is surprisingly non-judgmental. He does not condemn the temple authorities for avarice, or the rich who give alms out of their surplus wealth. He simply points out that the poor widow gives more than anyone else because she gives her last penny. She has left herself nothing to live on.
    • Jesus allows us to draw our own conclusions and discover what meaning the event has for us. What are my conclusions? Can I share them with him in prayer?
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    • Generosity is all relative, of course. Solomon prayed: Keep me from sacrifices that cost me nothing. Teach me true large-heartedness like that of the poor widow, a generosity that gives in secret, left hand not knowing what right hand is doing, and that gives until it hurts. Lord it does not matter what others see of my actions or neglect. You see into my heart and know my generosity or selfishness. Save me, Lord, from sacrifices that cost me nothing. True generosity is not so much giving what I can easily spare as giving what I can't easily do without.
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    • It is not the amount which counts, but the heart with which it is given.
    • ‘She, out of her poverty, has put in all she had to live on.’ I ask this unnamed woman to help me to put in at least something from my abundance.
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    • In today’s reading Jesus reproaches the rich people who give out of their abundance, whilst this poor widow gives everything that she has to live on! .What matters is not the amount you give, but the amount you keep for yourself! This woman’s faith in Jesus was expressed in this wonderful gesture.
    • Lord, help us to be generous and share the many gifts you have bestowed on us. Help us to help those who cannot help themselves, teach us how to give and not count the cost.
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    • The trust of the poor widow was seen by Jesus. I ask for God’s help to see the best in the small and impoverished everyday gestures that I might notice. I bring these moments before God for blessing.
    • Talk of recession makes us cautious. Generosity can be a sign of the goodness of God. In a time of constraint it may be all the more necessary.