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Monday, November 25, 2013

Navarre Bible Commentary:
Monday, 34th Week in Ordinary Time
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Widow's Mite by James Christensen
Luke 21:1-4

The Widow’s Offering

21 He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury; 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; 4 for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had.”
Cited in the Catechism:  In promulgating the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Blessed John Paul II explained that the Catechism "is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium."  He went on to "declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion" (Fidei Depositum). Passages from this Gospel reading are cited in the Catechism paragraph 2544.
Commentary
The Widow's Mite
21:1–4. Our Lord, surrounded by his disciples, watches people putting offerings into the treasury. This was a place in the women’s courtyard, where there were collection boxes for the offerings of the faithful. Just then, something happens whose significance Jesus wants his disciples to notice: a poor widow puts in two coins, of very little value. He describes this as the greatest offering of all, praising the giving of alms for this purpose, particularly by people who give part of what they need. Our Lord is moved by this tiny offering because in her case it implies a big sacrifice. “The Lord does not look”, St John Chrysostom comments, “at the amount offered but at the affection with which it is offered” (Hom. on Heb, 1). Generosity is of the essence of almsgiving. This woman teaches us that we can move God’s heart if we give him all we can, which will always amount to very little even if we give our very lives. “How little a life is to offer to God!” (St J. Escrivá, The Way, 420).
Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
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