Luke 21: 1-4 Giving Two Small Coins
Lord, I am amazed how you noticed this poor widow putting two small coins into the treasury. And yet, nothing escapes you, nothing. Neither good nor bad escapes you, but you prefer to take notice of the smallest gifts we bring to you. Regardless of our age, intellect, or talents, we are all your children. Even the poorest of the poor are your children worthy of all your love and affection, and worthy of being held in esteem. We are all loved by you. You smiled and caressed us as we brought our first finger painting of you to you. You love to bathe your children after having played outside and gotten a little messy. You feed us with delight. You tuck us in every night and fill our incredible nursery room with shooting stars and floating animals. You go beyond our human limits and give to us a love that only the best of moms and dads could ever do. You truly never rest. Your work is never really finished.
The widow put in two small coins and the Lord noticed her. Is there anything that is too small for the Lord? Yes, there is: the gift offering of the others. They put in from their surplus. They place large bills in the collection but they do not give what they should. They give to look good rather than to be good. “Where much is given, much is expected.”
What does the Lord want from us? Everything. All our heart, soul, mind and will.
I remember traveling all over Italy as a fundraiser. I was in charge of going across the country seeking donations for our large seminary in Rome. The work was exhausting but the benefits were everlasting. We met hundreds of families. We traveled to the most northern parts of Italy and met good, holy, Catholic families. We traveled to the south and were greeted with the same thing. We soon learned the ropes and, based on our experiences, we were able to judge how much money we could expect. As soon as we arrived to a beautiful home, with beautiful gardens and comforts galore, we immediately knew we would receive very little – some wine and pastries and a lengthy explanation of why they could not afford giving anything at this time. But as soon as we arrived to a home that was old and looking as if it were about to collapse, we knew that we would be greeted with a miracle offering.
I remember this one occasion, driving up a mountain, wondering if we were lost or on the right road, looking for this one particular home and asking ourselves what good this visit would bring to us. We found the home (or should I say cave). Inside there was an elderly woman praying her rosary and sitting in a chair as if she was expecting some guests. She had no clue that we were coming – no telephone number was listed. There was no door to knock, only an opening with some handmaid beads running down the length of it. We asked if we could come in. She greeted us and did not appear to be surprised to see us. She had as a faucet a pipe sticking out of the wall. The water came from the mountain and ran continuously. I whispered to the seminarian that was with me that we should not ask for anything. But he ignored me and after some small conversation he asked her if she could offer a gift. Immediately, she got up. I expected her to go for a broom or something. Instead, she went to her bedroom and came out with her social security check. She handed it to us and asked us to pray for her, and that she would pray for more seminarians. I could not take it. My partner did.
As we left, I told him that I did not think it was right to do this. He reminded me of the poor widow who had given all she had. He also reminded me to have a little more faith.