The Gospel of Mark, chapter twelve
“41: He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. 44 For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
More than anything, the story of Widow’s mite is a one ultimately of faith and the purest example of what loving one’ neighbor really means. Generosity is a common trait in my small circle, and I would also venture to say that giving isn’t particularly that difficult, especially knowing that I won’t really feel it. When an unpredictable crisis like 911, Katrina, the Tsunami in Indonesia and then the earthquake in Japan happened, it’s easy to help out. I was proud, like so many others, to lend a helping hand. But I certainly didn’t give so much that I actually felt it. In difficult times it’s easy to panic and try to hold on to whatever we have just a little tighter, and that is when this story really hits me. Jesus commands that we all be generous, regardless of our circumstance. No one is too poor to lend a helping hand. We all can do more, and must resist the temptation to expect someone else to do the giving, because of this phrase, “I just can’t, the economy is too bad.” That is the exact time we should take a deep breath and have faith that generosity isn’t measured by the amount we give, but how well we love one another. On a particularly bad week, the widow reminded me of this.