Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 6 Year 1
“He also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.” (Luke 21:2)
The story of the poor widow putting in her last two coins is layered beyond its simplicity. First, while she is down to her last, she gives it all anyway. She has no husband or visible means of support. She puts her trust and faith in God. She probably does not know that in fact, God in Christ Jesus is witnessing her at that very moment. It is in this same way that this same Christ Jesus is witnessing our acts of kindness and charity, even though we too are unaware that he is watching and calling the heavenly host’s attention to our good deeds. The things we do when we think no one is watching is what gets God’s attention.
Second, she contributed to a leadership that did not really nurture the spiritual welfare of the people placed in its charge. Jesus has just finished talking about how scandalous the scribes were. I have known many situations in various groups where when people lost confidence in the leadership or management they would not contribute to it. They withheld their money, especially if they were poor in the first place. But this poor widow looked beyond the scribes to a greater power. Her faith was in God, not the scribes. The temple was the only recourse she was aware of. I’m thinking then, it’s not so much which charitable organization you give to but that it is in God’s Name that you give. We have a treasurer who will not allow any contributions go in to deposit unless it is blessed. She is so adamant about this that often tellers or the parish administrator will hunt me down to bless the money before it goes to the bank.
Third, she refused to be unseen. By being present with her little money she makes herself seen in the midst of the people giving what she had in the presence of on-lookers. Just because she has no husband she will not be shunned and relegated to the back corners of her society. She makes them see her. She makes them realize that she is their responsibility as a member of their people. It is the responsibility of any family or organized social structure to care for its members, secular or religious. She makes them see her and in some respect holds them accountable. She is their sister and she should not be alone, or for that matter, down to just two copper coins in the first place. Do something people!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. John+