Posted on Nov 6, 2021

7 November 2021

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.” 

You need to feed yourself. The last thing you need to do is to give your money away.

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.

But that is the easiest insight into this story.

I suspect we all came to that insight within seconds of hearing it.

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

Jesus this good man so concerned about the poor,

not stopping this woman from giving her last two cents, praising her action.  

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.

But I hope I am not so stupid as to believe that my careful form of discipleship,

means that I will not need God’s mercy to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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.

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