In his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’
He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’
Gospel for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Front seats, places of honour and money – these can all be temptations, things hankered after because of the kudos they seem to represent to us. They can become ends not means to reward and honour those most deserving.
Sometimes people call them blessings: Jesus suggests they can sometimes be a sign of a blighted life!
- Why does the woman offer all she is and has?
- What do you offer?
- What do you not offer?
Gold coin from reign of Decentius 351-3, bearing the Chi Rho. Collection of Manchester Museum. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.