Thirty Second Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Nov 13, 2018





11 November 2018


This story of the widow’s mite is troubling to me.

It’s troubling because if that widow were here,

and if the collection basket were going around, and if it truly were her last two cents–

I’d say, “Keep it for God’s sake.”

Don’t you have the same reaction?

And, I find it hard to believe that Jesus wouldn’t have stopped her.

Certainly the person who fed the hungry, urged us to take care of the needy,

would have wanted her to keep that two cents.

I thought about this for a long time,

wondering why I had such a negative reaction to letting this woman give her last two cents.

I guess it’s because I really do buy into the notion that we are generous from what we have left over.

I will always be able to eat.

I will never give away so much, be so committed to another’s welfare,

that my own welfare is jeopardized.

What about you?

But that is the easiest insight into this story.

There is a harder insight here and it has to do with Jesus.   

I missed it at first.

The story goes that Jesus first sees the rich, the powerful making their donation.

And then he sees this poor widow making hers.

The issue for Jesus seems to be that everyone, regardless of how well off,

or how poor, has a responsibility to be generous.

And everyone has a right to be generous.

I would have deprived that woman of being generous,

Making her poorer than she really was.

I would have taken away her dignity.

The truth is I will never be so generous that my welfare is in jeopardy.

Someone once said that God’s mercy,

the mercy each one of us needs to enter the kingdom of heaven,

is the mercy of neediest person we met in our lives,

forgiving us for being less than totally generous in their time of need.

The question of the week: Who has been the neediest person we’ve met in our lives.

What that person forgive us for what we did or failed to do?