Today’s readings were rough wake up call for me because they teach otherwise. The poor widow in the first reading (1 Kings 17:10-16) gave food and water to the prophet Elijah out of her meager supplies for her and her son. The second reading (Hebrews 9:24-28) reminds us that Christ gave up His very life so that we might live. And the Gospel reading (Mark 12:38-44) shares the story of the poor widow whose simple offering of a few cents was worth more than all the other people who gave to the treasury. Where others gave from their surplus, but she gave out of her poverty because she gave all she had.
Like the examples given in the readings today, we each have areas of poverty in our lives. For me, it’s been my bouts of illness. For you, it could be illness too or a financial strain. But it could also be impatience, exhaustion, feeling overworked, stressed, depressed, or anxious. It could be addiction, family challenges, loneliness, or a season of sorrow. At any of these points of the journey, we can feel that we truly have nothing left to give or that the little that we do have is not worth very much. I know I have.
But Jesus shows us another way. Our “few cents” can become an offering of great value. Holiness can be found in the day-to-day moments when we complete the small tasks that seem insurmountable. These can be amazing achievements, especially when we don’t want to do something or feel particularly limited by additional challenges that seem to get in the way from doing what we can and offering the little that we have to others and to God. Because it can be SO difficult to keep going when we feel like we have nothing left to give. But let us draw strength from others...let us share our stories….let us remember that our “few cents” are always worth something…and let us remember that even when we feel we have very little to offer, it is indeed a great treasure when offered to God from a sincere and humble heart.
Deborah Gretzinger (No R.E.-Gretz)
Note: Today's blog post was inspired by Mary Catherine Craige of Blessed is She