The Poor Widow
How many times have you heard this story? The poor widow has only two small coins that she offers as her donation at the temple. Or is there more?
When we are at mass, the traditional time of making our offering is just after asking God for our needs through the intercessory prayers. The ushers scurry around with their baskets. There is the slight commotion at the back of church as they figure out how to seal the donation bag. And then finding people to bring up the bread and wine and our offering.
We are taught that at the offertory we offer ourselves as well. What is offering ourselves? I think it more than the check in the envelope. Just as the poor widow made her offering, I think of her telling God of her loneliness. It has been some time since her husband died, but she misses him a lot. It is much harder living alone. There are times of loneliness and despair. Anxiety always seems to be waiting for you around each corner. What happens if the plumbing breaks? Or the car will not start? Or who will clear the snow from the sidewalks? Will her social security cover the food she needs and her medication? Living by yourself after so many years of marriage is both challenging and frightening. Can she dare to offer all these problems with her two small coins? Jesus said she offered more than all the rest. Perhaps because she trusted in God more than all the rest, she could offer all who she was.
This week as you participate at mass or listen online, how will you offer yourself to God at the offertory? If you still have your spouse with you this would be a perfect time to offer a Hail Mary prayer for them. If not, it is a good time to offer a Hail Mary for the repose of their soul.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.