Why the poor widow gave more

Published November 11, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat



One night years ago, a stormy rain stranded a newlywed couple on a remote country road. Unable to go any farther, they got out of their car and walked towards a dimly lit farmhouse.

When they reached the house, an elderly couple, carrying a kerosene lamp, met them at the door. Explaining their predicament, the young man asked: “Could we spend the night with you? A place on the floor or a few easy chairs will do.”

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Seeing their condition,  the elderly woman said, “Why surely, children. We just happen to have a spare bedroom.”

The next morning the newly weds got up early and prepared to leave without disturbing the elderly couple.

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They dressed quietly, put a thousand-peso bill on the dresser, and tiptoed down the stairs. When they opened the door to the living room, to their astonishment, they found the old couple asleep on the sofa. They had given the newlyweds their only bedroom!

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This heartwarming story is a modern illustration of the poor widow in the gospel of this 32nd Sunday of the year. Christ in the gospel praises the poor widow who drops only two small copper coins (a few centavos)  in the temple treasury, unlike the others who “put in their surplus money” (Mk 12,43).

Although very poor, she put “all she had to live on.”

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The first lesson we can learn is you don’t have to be wealthy in order to give to charity or help people. The example of the poor widow poignantly illustrates this. There are those who say, “I’ll give when I become rich or win the lotto” or “when I receive my retirement pension.” The question is, what if you won’t become rich at all or win or die before your retirement. Does it mean you won’t reach out to your needy brethren anymore?

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The second lesson teaches that our giving is more meaningful and meritorious when it is accompanied by some pain or sacrifice. Remember the saying: “Give until it hurts?”

The rich in the gospel did not have this. They gave away only what was extra or disposable. There are some people, for instance,  who give away used items to indigents or calamity victims. That’s fine.

But some of the items donated are practically useless or unusable.

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STRINGS ATTACHED? When we donate money for charity, what’s our real motive? Is it because you want your name or your company publicized? Or do you give because you want something in return?                                  

If such be our motive, then our giving is self-serving; it has strings attached. Christ teaches, “When you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it as the hypocrites do” (Mt 6,2).

What kind of giver are you?

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ON GIVING — A boxer’s favorite saying: “It’s better to give than receive.”

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ISN’T IT STRANGE… how a 50-peso bill seems like such a large amount when you donate to church, but it’s such a small amount when you go shopping?

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A Maid’s Prayer. “Dear Lord, I’m not praying for myself but for my parents. Please give them a son-in-law. Amen.”

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EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS AT PINK SISTERS. The public is invited to the 31st Eucharistic Congress on November 24 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Venue: St. Joseph’s Adoration Convent, 71 Hemady Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City.

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Theme: “The Eucharist And The Call To Holiness In Today’s  World” will be expounded by speakers: Fr. Jose V.C.  Quilong Quilong, SJ, Fr. Rolando V. dela Rosa, OP, Most Rev. Leopoldo C. Jaucian, SVD, DD, Bishop of Abra.

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For inquiries, call the Secretariat:  0927-366-4116 or Pink Sisters Convent 722-8828. The Eucharistic Congress is sponsored by the Eucharistic Adorers’ League of the Pink Sisters.