Scripture: Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20. Response: Daniel 3:52,53, 54, 55, 56. Luke
Our last Monday of the liturgical year gives us a beautiful example of
total love and generosity on the part of one of the poor widows whom the
Scriptures call the ‘Anawim or the Poor of God (Yahweh). As we look
forward to a new beginning this coming weekend we can learn much from this
short passage that only Luke retains in his Gospel. Jesus, having finished
the journey up; to Jerusalem, now takes some time to look at the Temple
from his place of rest nearby. It is he who glancing up to the structure of
the Temple sees a woman who evidently is a widow both by her dress and by
what he sees her putting into the treasury of the Temple. We are told they
are almost worthless—two copper not silver coins, but they are all that she
had. As one of the Poor of Yahweh, this woman knew that her heart trusted
completely in God. He generosity enables us to see that as the reality of
who she is and why Jesus glanced up and saw her. He too was amazed and
touched by her love for God seen in her love for the Temple of the Lord.
The ‘Anawim or Poor of Yahweh somehow knew that God would not overlook
their total self-giving to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This woman
felt the compassion of God through her mitzvah or kindness in action for
God and God’s Temple. She most likely knew this as her spirituality if we
may use the word founded upon the praying of the Psalms of the Poor. She
was in need of God just as the blind man was and was seen by Jesus and just
as Zachaeus was as he and Jesus caught one another’s glance through the
meeting of their eyes. We learned about how to pray from the blind man
and how to be generous from Zachaeus.
Luke in this scene brings to us more ways of carrying out our discipleship.
With open and generous hearts we become friends of the Lord and he glances
upon us. The cost is total self-giving. The woman who gave her last
savings is a great model for us. Jesus praises her in what she has done.
Jesus himself by recognizing her helps us to see him too as a self-effacing
and compassionate one who looks upon the little ones with great care. May
we receive a similar glance of the Lord today as we attempt in some small
way to imitate the poor widow. Amen.