When we hear the story of the Widow’s Mite, (cf., LK 21:1-4), we are called to reflect on stewardship and our “management” of what has been given to us by God. In the story, we are told of many Temple visitors putting large donations in the collection jars. Jesus calls his disciples to himself, however, and points out a particular widow who dropped only two small coins in the jar. Jesus then contrasts her giving to that of those who had preceded her: “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” (NAB, LK 21:3-4) While others had given from their excess, their desires, or even their wants, this widow gave from her need, in fact, as Jesus notes, “her whole livelihood.”
While her generosity is worthy or praise, there is another aspect of her faith in God that deserves note. Because she has given all that she has, she must now be totally dependent upon God to meet her needs. Widows had no sources of income and essentially relied upon the generosity of others or their adult children, if they had any. By giving up her entire livelihood, this woman exhibits heroic courage, faith, and trust in God to provide for her every need. From where will her next meal come? How will she pay her bills? If she has young children, how will she feed and care for them? She trusts in God, the God who loves her and the God who provides. Let us learn not only from the Widow’s Mite, but especially from the Widow’s Trust.
Lord, give me a generous heart, that I may share my talents, energy, and resources with others, and let me do so without holding back. Give me the faith, courage, and trust I need to see you as the God who will always provide what I need. Let my trust not be in the people, provisions, and powers of this world, but in you and you, alone. Amen.