Giving and loving — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

This Sunday’s Gospel presents Jesus seated in front of the offering boxes in the Temple of Jerusalem, observing how people were depositing their alms for the worship to honor the Lord (cf. Mk 12:41). Many rich people were passing by and giving quite a lot.

Suddenly, however, a woman who was a widow quietly appeared in the midst of the crowd and tossed in two small coins of very little value. She possessed almost nothing, only a big heart and total trust in God. Her gesture attracted the attention of Jesus, who called the disciples over to teach them a lesson.

It would be difficult in the temple environment to find a heart that was more religious and generous than that of this woman. Therefore he said to them:

“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
(Mk 12:43–44).

Certainly, that woman gave very little materially—two small coins—an insignificant amount. Her sacrifice wasn’t going to be noticed by anyone. You might even think that what she did was useless.

However, Jesus thinks differently when he says: “this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.”

As St. Teresa of Jesus said: “The Lord doesn’t look so much at the greatness of our works as at the love with which they are done” (Interior Castle, VII, 4:15).

How flashy our works are, how much time we dedicate, nor how many activities we’re involved in isn’t what counts, but rather how much of our heart we give without interest, how abundant is the life we’re leaving behind us, and how much love we put into what we do.

Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (excerpt)
7 November 2021

All scripture references are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America as accessed from the Bible Gateway website.

Translation from the Spanish text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

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