She, out of her poverty, gave all she had to live on
Today, as it happens so often, small things go by unnoticed: small alms, small sacrifices, small prayers (jaculatory prayers); but what, at times, may look small and unimportant, it frequently represents the warp and also the culmination of master works: be it great works of art, be it the maximum goods deeds of personal saintliness.
Because these small things are mostly unnoticed, their bona fide intention is out of question: we are not to seek in them neither recognition nor human glory. Only God will discover them in our heart, in the same way as only Jesus could see the poor widow's generosity. It is more than certain that poor woman did not play trumpets to announce what she was doing, and it is even possible she was ashamed and felt ridiculous before the eyes of the wealthy, who, while offering splendid gifts into the treasure box, were making others feel admired at their liberality. Yet, that woman's unselfishness, that caused her to drop the two small coins despite her poverty, deserved the Lord's praise: «Truly, I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. For all gave an offering from their plenty, but she, out of her poverty, gave all she had to live on» (Lk 21:3-4).
The widow's generosity is a good lesson for us, Christ's disciples. We can be extremely generous, as the wealthy people that were «putting their gifts into the treasure box» (Lk 21:1). But, none of this will be worth the while if we only give “from our plenty”, without any loving or generous spirit, without offering ourselves along. St. Augustine says: «They looked at the great offerings from the wealthy and they praised them for that. And, even if the could see the widow later on, how many did notice those two coins...? She gave whatever she had, for she had God in her heart. But she had plenty, for she had God in her heart. It is better to have God in our soul than gold in the safe». Quite true: Let us be generous with God and He will be much more so with us.
Fr. Àngel Eugeni PÉREZ i Sánchez (Barcelona, Spain)