Today’s reading: Mk 12:28-44
Today we read the famous story of the poor widow. Jesus is watching the crowd and sees a poor widow put her last two pennies into the temple treasury. Of this, Jesus says:
Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contribute of the abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living.
First, it’s important to understand just how poor this widow probably was. In the first century Judea, a woman needed a man to support them. Without a husband, the woman could not transact business. Earning a living would have been difficult if not impossible. If she had sons, they would be responsible to care for her. Thus, it seems likely that she did not have any children or certainly, she did not have children with the means or inclination to assist her.
Second, what goes unspoken, but should be obvious, is the amount of trust the woman has in God to provide for her. She is donating her “whole living” to the temple. One can feel certain the Jesus, who is sitting there watching, will certainly not let her generous act of unselfishness and charity go unrewarded.
Tomorrow: Mk 13:1-13