November 21, 2016 (Monday)

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Rv 14:1-3, 4b-5 • Ps 24

Lk 21:1-4

[or Zec 2:14-17 • Lk 1

Mt 12:46-50]




1When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury 2and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. 3He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; 4for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”




Jesus commends the poor widow who gives her offering in the Temple. He singles her out among the many givers, because she gives her all, two small coins, equivalent to five cents. The wealthy also give, and perhaps even more, but they are not commended by Jesus.

First, Jesus makes a strong statement here as he observes people put money into the clanging collection box. He teaches the importance of proportionality. He expects more from those who have more, because they can afford. They do not get into trouble financially if they give more. On the other hand, Jesus does not expect the poor to give more than what they can afford. The widow surpasses the principle of proportionality. She gives out of proportion. She leaves nothing for herself.

Second and most of all, Jesus wants to teach generosity. Rich or poor, we are called to share our resources. No one is exempted from giving. We must avoid the indigent mentality in which we think we should be only at the receiving end and are not in any way obliged to reciprocate.

The Church commands us to give to the Sunday collection. Let us help defray the electric and water bills and also the salaries of church personnel. How unjust for a parishioner to enjoy the facilities and services of the Church without contributing anything!

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