1 He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury; 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins. 3 And he said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; 4 for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had."
Meditation: Do you know the joy of selfless giving and
generous love for others? True love doesn't calculate - it spends
lavishly! Jesus drove this point home to his disciples while
sitting in the temple and observing people offering their tithes.
Jesus praised a poor widow who gave the smallest of coins in
contrast with the rich who gave greater sums. How can someone in
poverty give more than someone who has ample means? Jesus' answer
is very simple - love is more precious than gold or wealth!
Love grows with gratitude and generous giving
Jesus taught that real giving must come from the heart. A gift that is given with a grudge or for display loses its value. But a gift given out of love, with a spirit of generosity and sacrifice, is precious. The amount or size of the gift doesn't matter as much as the cost to the giver. The poor widow could have kept one of her coins, but instead she recklessly gave away all she had! Jesus praised someone who gave barely a penny - how insignificant a sum - because it was everything she had, her whole living.
Nothing given in love is worthless
What we have to offer may look very small and not worth much, but if we put all we have at the Lord's disposal, no matter how insignificant it may seem, then God can do with it and with us what is beyond our reckoning. Do you give out of love and gratitude for what God has already given to you?
1 The earth is the LORD's and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein;
2 for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. [Selah]
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: Mercy and compassion are never worthless, by Leo the Great, 400-461 A.D.
"Although the spite of some people does not grow gentle with any
kindness, nevertheless the works of mercy are not fruitless, and
kindness never loses what is offered to the ungrateful. May no
one, dearly beloved, make themselves strangers to good works. Let
no one claim that his poverty scarcely sufficed for himself and
could not help another. What is offered from a little is great,
and in the scale of divine justice, the quantity of gifts is not
measured but the steadfastness of souls. The "widow" in the Gospel
put two coins into the "treasury," and this surpassed the gifts of
all the rich. No mercy is worthless before God. No compassion is
fruitless. He has given different resources to human beings, but
he does not ask different affections." (excerpt
from Sermon 20.3.1)