Abundance vs. lack: Hold nothing back
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.” (Mk 12:42-44)
It would be easy to look at today’s stories (Sunday, Nov. 7) of the two widows simply as cautionary tales, there to remind us to be generous. But generosity is just a surface-level interpretation of what is laid out for us, probably because that interpretation is more comfortable and less inconvenient than the truth. The actions of these two women—relegated to the margins because of their status—focus not on if we give but how we give. The widow who makes a cake for Elijah has nothing remaining for herself or her son. Still, she trusts that all will be well and gives the last of what she has. The widow in the Gospel gives her last two coins, holding nothing back for herself.