Offered her whole livelihood

Published November 22, 2020, 11:26 PM

by Manila Bulletin

To live in poverty deprived of life’s necessities is not a value. Human persons, created in God’s image, are to have a dignified existence. Yet, Jesus declares those “blessed” in God’s Kingdom whose lot is actual poverty caused by circumstances or persecution—if they remain generous, even in their need.

In both Luke (21:1-4) and Mark (12:41-44) we read of the poor widow who contributes her two small coins to the temple treasury. Jesus notes that her “widow’s mite” has great value, because it is a sincere contribution, coming from her heart; others make contributions only from their surplus wealth.

In Jesus’ perspective, one is blessed if, even in the face of personal needs, one still looks to the needs of others. Poverty is not limited only to material needs; there is the poverty of being lonely, abandoned, unwanted, rejected by society. Even an ordinary poor person can show neighborly love, compassion, and human tenderness. Jesus promises that the merciful, be they rich or poor, “will be shown mercy” (Mt 5:7).

For Pope Francis the widow is an “image of the Church” which must be “poor, humble, and faithful.”

Gospel • LUKE 21:1-4

When Jesus looked up He saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and He noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: