A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
Before I begin discussion of todayâ€™s readings and Gospel, I am going to clue you in on next week; give you a preview of what is to come. It is, in fact, about what is to come: “And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and gloryâ€
The widow in todayâ€™s Gospel had all that in mind. She knew it before Jesus even said it. It was written on her heart. The end will come. God will gather His elect. Where will I stand? She decided to stand with Godâ€™s warriors; with those who were, and are today, all in.
Many gloss over todayâ€™s gospel as a lesson in generosity, about giving to the church. There is that lesson which is pretty easy to grasp. As Christians however, we are asked to look beyond mere appearance, outward signs, to what lies beneath. In the Gospel according to St. John, Jesus tells us: â€œStop judging by outward appearances, and start judging justly.â€ Jesus wants us to get at deeper truth, the full impact of His Good News.
Going deeper into the Word of God calls us to go deeper into His life giving way. We are called to do as the widow did, to throw it all in, to say â€“ nothing is more valuable than Godâ€™s way, to walk with Him in complete faith and confidence.
Oh, how we long for miracles. Our hearts desire healing, safety, the good of children and family, long life, financial freedom, love, comfort, security, and so much else. Yet, when we are called to be fierce warriors for God, to proclaim His name, to gather souls, to stand for Godâ€™s truth and justice over opinion and politicsâ€¦ Do we throw it all in? Do we go all the way? Do we believe in His miracles? Do we trust?
These are hard choices. It is a choice one poor widow made in the Temple, a choice another poor widow made in giving the last of her water, oil, and flour to an unknown holy man. They went all in in the presence of the Holy. That is the deeper truth, recognizing Godâ€™s ask and doing it. We are called to that kind of faith and courage â€“ to all-in warrior status for God.