LATER, WATCHING THE RICH MEN bring their gifts to the Temple treasury, Jesus saw a poor widow contribute two mites, less than a penny. He pointed out the incident to His disciples and said to them:
“Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all. For all these out of their abundance have put in as gifts to God; but she out of her want has put in all that she has to live on.”
A statement of Jesus reported by Saint John seems to complement His speeches in the Temple. The evangelist precedes the quotation with an explanation of why Jesus was rejected by the people in spite of the astonishing evidence of the miracles He worked. Their hearts were hardened like those of the Jews who rejected Isaias when he foresaw and foretold the glory of Christ. And though many, even among the rulers, did believe in Christ, they were moved by the influence of the Pharisees and would not acknowledge Him, fearing the loss of position. “they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God.”
“He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me, sees Him who sent Me. I have come a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears My words, and does not keep them, it is not I who judge him; for I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not accept My words, has one to condemn him. The word that I have spoken will condemn him on the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority, but He who sent Me, the Father, has commanded Me what I should say, and what I should declare. And I know that His commandment is everlasting life. The things, therefore, that I speak, I speak as the Father has bidden Me.”
Meditation: “This poor widow has put in more than all.” Exteriorly compared with the other contributions, hers was probably the least. How foolish we are then, to attempt to measure another’s service of God, or to make comparisons between our service and that of others. “Judge not, and you will not be judged,” Our Lord has warned us. God alone reads the heart and can assess the true value of things done for Him. Do I attempt to evaluate the worth of others’ deeds?
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 213-214. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.