The Gospel of Luke has a number of titles associated with it. One of the many titles is the Gospel of the Poor. Luke has as a preferential option for the poor. Today, Jesus observes the widow, who represents the poor of Israel.

The setting is that of the women’s court in the temple. Within the Temple, there are trumpet-like receptacles for people to make their donations. Jesus is watching the people enter into the temple (as we often do ourselves) and his eye catches sight of a widow, as she pays her respects to the Presence of God in the Temple. Jesus notices that many of the rich make their offerings. However, this widow catches his attention, since she has given her all-every penny she had to live on!

The coins that the widow puts in are perhaps equivalent to the 5 centavo in the Philippines- the smallest currency used nowadays. The copper coins of the widow were the smallest used in circulation at the time of Jesus. Most striking, according to Jesus, is the fact that the widow puts in two coins. She could have kept one coin for herself. She spares nothing for the Lord. The whole of her livelihood is spent for the Lord. The others contributed out of their surplus. They had other resources that they could rely upon-not the poor widow. This act surely touched the heart of Jesus.

Often our lives can be like the rich. We are willing to give all to God, but keep the little we have –just in case. Do we really trust in the Lord? He will surely provide. This was the faith of the widow. She trusted in her God. The Lord would provide. Who knows how she lived that day? Perhaps some good and kind person had pity upon her.

Today the Church celebrates the Presentation of Mary in the Temple. Tradition tells us that Mary at a young age presented herself to the Lord. This prophetic act would find its fulfillment in her submission to God -being mother of Jesus. Today let us imitate Mary’s faith and that of the widow in the Gospel, both who placed their life in the hands of God’s providential care in their lives

 

What return will I make for the Lord?

 

Lord, you have given all to me. Now I return it to you. Amen.