Monday of the Thirty-FourthWeek in Ordinary Time

The teaching of the widow

When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “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.” Lk 21,1-4

In the Mark’s gospel the same episode of the poor widow is highlighted by an exhortation of Jesus on the attitude of the scribes and pharisees, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets” (Mk 12,38-44).Those who care only for the external appearance, those who show off and appear everywhere, in the society, on the television and in the newspapers, are the scribes of yesterday and today. They always have something to say, to write, to teach and we are exposed to  them even in the commercials, for which they are sought, because everyone knows them. Those are the ones to whose, perhaps, we would like to look a bit, because we would like to live as protagonists on the stage of the life. Entering into the today’s gospel, we find this poor widow, and, being unseen, there are there many of the poor people of today: These are not beggars with the outstretched hands for a continuous request, but those who live in a dignified poverty, who however offer their hand always intended to give the little they have. They do it in silence, humility, and conscious of being able to give little. These are those who work quietly, living in simplicity, but are always present when someone is in need. I know a lady, a real lady, whom I will not name because she would not like it, who gives her available time going to the hospital to visit people who are always alone and when they are close to die, she remains with them to pray until they close their eyes. These are the poor widows who, in the shadows, almost with shame, throw their coins into the treasury, being noticed by us only by chance. Even Jesus was aware of the poor widow only when, having completed his teaching to the disciples, he sat watching her in silence, almost by chance. Being faced with this scene, our morning prayer disappears in the shadows, and we, like Jesus, would have to find moments of silence to take the teachings which come from the many poor widows of today. Give us, Lord, more simplicity, more silence, more poverty, more generosity, more love.

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