Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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God asks for small deeds done with great love

Based on 1 Kgs 17:10-16; Heb 9:24-28; Mk 12:38-44

This Sunday’s Gospel is one example of the Beatitudes we heard about in last Sunday’s Gospel.

Jesus tells his disciples to beware of the scribes who parade around in long robes as really holy people, recite long prayers and who take the best seats in the synagogues and the honored places at banquets. They don’t treat people fairly or honestly. Jesus says, “Don’t follow their example.”

Jesus and his disciples are seated in the temple opposite the treasury where several trumpet-shaped metal chests have been placed. People throw coins into these chests for the upkeep of the temple.

Jesus watches the people – including a poor widow – throw their coins into the chests. Many rich people put in large amounts of money.

The poor widow puts in two small coins. Jesus says to the disciples, “This poor widow put in more than any of the others. They gave money they could spare, but the poor old woman gave everything she had to live on.”

Her unselfish sacrifice really sums up Jesus’ entire teaching: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3).
The world in which we live puts a big focus on the value of money. According to the world’s standards, the poor widow in this Gospel gave very little. But the Kingdom of God is different. Jesus teaches about and focuses on love – love of God and love of others, keeping alert to the poor and unselfish generosity. The poor widow’s offering was huge because she gave all she had. She trusted in God to provide her with whatever she needed.

Blessed Mother Teresa often said that God does not expect great deeds from us. What he wants from us are small deeds done with great love. All that we do must be energized by love!