One of the greatest heroes in the gospels is an unnamed widow, a woman barely able to stay alive due to her status as a woman without a husband, gives her donation to the Temple treasury out of her poverty. Why didn’t she at least keep one of the two coins she gave for herself? Surely God would understand. Absolutely!!! But something else was at work here: the inexplicable love the woman had for God, her deeply held gratitude even in the midst of her poverty.
She is a Saint, and Jesus recognizes the true treasure of her heart as she gave her two coins to the Temple treasury. Her “heart treasure” is beyond measurable value. Saints are people who simply want to give praise and glory to God. What a saintly witness this unnamed widow gives to us all.
During this week of Thanksgiving, as we approach the holy season of. Advent, let us try to follow the witness of the widow and her “mite,” by giving in ways that are extravagant. We can do so not only with our money but with our time, our energy, our gifts. We can do so by not spending much money on Christmas gifts, especially since giving too many expensive things to our loved ones and friends has nothing to do with Christ or his birth. Think of the lesson we teach our children not to measure Christmas cheer or Santa’s Christmas Eve delivery by how many gifts under the tree.
Children can be taught valuable lessons at any age and these “lessons” are the hidden gifts of love and compassion. Children learn by example. But so do us adults. We just need to open our eyes to see the countless widows and widowers, the many people with few resources, giving in so many ways by volunteering and donating the little “treasure” they have to help someone worse off than themselves. If we let their example “set in,” maybe we can give a name to that unnamed widow in the gospel: our own name.
Ps: if any of you want me to say a mass for a special need or a loved one, or just say a prayer, please write to me at my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. My old AOL email is defunct.