My Dear Sisters and Brothers! The poor widow didn’t have anything to impress superficially religious people who flocked to the Jerusalem Temple. Her clothing was not shining. She didn’t have a support of her husband. He was dead and she was insignificant. The money she dropped into the treasury didn’t make noise to attract people attention. However in the immense crowd of the people who were in Jerusalem ready to celebrate the most important Jewish festival, the Passover, she stood out. She stood out in the sight of Jesus Christ. What did Jesus see in her offering? Our Blessed Lord saw not just money but life. Jesus said that she gave: ‘all her life.’ She had two coins. She could have kept one and give one, but she gave both coins. Because she gave both coins her gift was not about the money but about her life given to God.
How much she must have trusted God. How much those who were giving big sums ‘out of their abundance’ could have learnt about religion from that poor woman. Unfortunately they were too preoccupied with fulfilling religious obligations to please God so that they could continue making more profit that they missed an opportunity to go deeper in their faith. Let us not repeat their mistake. Let us learn true religion from the poor widow, the wisdom figure in today’s Gospel.
When I was meditating on this Gospel I paid attention to the timing of the event. It happened during the week we call the Holy Week. It occurred to me that the great prophet John the Baptist was dead by then. The prophet who was called to point out to Jesus Christ was not there anymore. However this poor widow from this Sunday’s Gospel took on the duty of John the Baptist. By her action she pointed out to the action Jesus Christ was to do in a couple of days. What was the action? He was going to make of his own life a gift for God’s glory and for our salvation. In the Gospel of John Jesus said: ‘I lay down my life. No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my free will.’ That poor widow was a prophet of Jesus’ final hours. Jesus gave his life for us. He did it to the last drop of his blood. He didn’t give something of his life, like his teaching, his wisdom or his miraculous powers. He gave all his life. When he was led through the streets of Jerusalem to the hill of Golgotha, when he was crucified on Golgotha the world didn’t stop, like the world didn’t stop when the poor widow gave to small coins. The world went on when she was making her offering. The world went on when the Son of God was making his offering on the cross.
My dear Fellow believers! Pay attention to the person of Jesus the poor widow is pointing out to. But don’t go sentimental. Don’t go tearful. Instead imitate Jesus. The poor widow did. She gave her all life like Jesus did. She might have heard Jesus say: ‘However wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the Gospel will save it.’ Don’t look however for some big treasuries your treasury is your parish community, your treasury is your family, your treasury is your work or retirement, your treasury is your school or kindergarten, your treasury are your friends and people in need you meet. So look at Jesus offering his whole life for us and for our salvation. Meditate on the action of the poor widow and give your whole life to those treasuries I have just mentioned because in heaven you will be asked how much of your life you have spent not how much you have accumulated. Those who have spent it all for God and other people will enter the Kingdom. They will be like Jesus Christ who gave it all.