With the hesitant sharing of her last piece of bread with the hungry prophet Elijah, the widow at Zarephath trustingly accepted Elijah’s promise that his God of Israel would give all of them daily bread thereafter to sustain life. This was a deal the widow could not ignore. Many years later, Jesus would declare: I am the bread of life, whoever eats this bread will live forever…a deal none of us today can ignore.
In the gospel today, Jesus is people watching in the Temple and points out to his disciples the prideful display of arrogance by the scribes as they hypocritically deposit large sums of money in the Treasury seeking adulation and privilege while underhandedly devouring the savings of widows such as the humble woman who quietly emerges from the shadows and gingerly drops her last two coins in the Treasury and hurries away. Jesus praises her and condemns the scribes. She gave her heart together with what little she had. She gave her money to honor the Presence of God in the Temple and to support the worship and ministries performed there and its outreach to the poor.
Isn’t that why we celebrate Eucharist? To satisfy our hunger for the living Bread of Jesus in Holy Communion, and at the Presentation of Gifts, to give ourselves and our money to support the worship, ministries, personnel, and outreach to the poor which our churches provide? What else might the two poor widows inspire in us today?
Lord, you do so much for us! You secure justice for the oppressed, feed the hungry, free captives, let the blind see and the lame walk. You sustain widows and orphans and you will reign forever. Alleluia (Ps 146)
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)