In Biblical time, widows struggle when it comes to material wealth. Yet in the first readings and the Gospel for this Sunday, we hear of two widows who loved God so much that they were prepared to give all they have in the service of God.
As Jesus points out in the Gospel, it is not how much is given, but how much love is attached to the giving. Most people gave of their excess, while the widows gave all they had when they could ill afford to do so. It says much about the depth and commitment of their faith, and their love of God. Generosity is measured often not by the amount we give, but the amount of love attached to the giving. There are many ways of giving in the service of God. Besides money, we can also give of ourselves – especially our time and talent. I have tried hard as a Parish Priest to try and draw parishioners in to the life of the Parish Community. If we struggle to contribute materially to the Church, perhaps the question we should all ask of ourselves is; how much of ourselves have we given to serve God – How active are we in the parish? By “active”, it is not just the amount we do and give, but our participation in the life and well being of the parish.
Our faith is not a ‘do it yourself’ or ‘do it alone’ project. It has a communitarian element too, and each parishioner is part of the ‘body of Christ’, part of the Church universal, called to make a difference in the world.
The widows challenge us to think of how we give, and give of ourselves in the service of God and God’s People. As the saying goes, God will never been outdone by our generosity.