1 Kings 17:10-16
Mark 12:38-44 Or Mark 12:41-44
Faith and Generosity
There is a clear link between the widow of Zarephath in the first reading and the widow in the gospel story. The first widow and her son are close to starvation when Elijah asks her for food and water. She trusts Elijah when he tells her, “The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.” With trust and generosity, she does as Elijah requests. As a result, she and her son are able to have enough food for a year.
In the gospel story, Jesus is sitting outside the treasury watching people putting money into the treasury. He sees a poor widow placing two small coins in the treasury. “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. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.’”
It isn’t difficult for most people to give out of their plenty, but it’s a different story when the giver has limitations. The message from both readings reminds us that it’s not what you give that’s important, but giving it from your whole heart in faith and generosity. The value of the gift is that it comes from the heart. A generous gift from the heart is the kind of offering that brings us closer to God.
Jesus uses the example of the poor widow to denounce the religious leaders who seek privileges and honor and take advantage of the poor. Instead, he gives recognition to ordinary people who do what they believe is required to live a good life.
We all have time, talent and treasures. How generous are you with those gifts? Do you have faith to believe you always are loved and cared for by a generous and loving God? How do you become more aware of how you can contribute to the needs of others who have far less than you? Are your contributions given to make you feel better or are they given from the heart for a good cause?
How do faith and generosity motivate you to help others in their need?
What of your time, talents and treasure can you contribute at this time?