Her wealth was not in materials. Rather this poor widow was living a life as a sign of contradictions. She gave her last two coins to our Lord. It was not a large value in monetary means. However, she gave all she had. All too often, if not most often, many, if not actually most people give unto church or our Lord in terms of minor sacrifices…if of any real or serious sacrifices at all. No. In our modern culture we all too often spend more on one restaurant outing than we give to God on any regular Sunday. Sometimes this is not true. However, sacrifice has always been a very important part of the Christian life. Without real material and spiritual sacrifice living out and maturing in one’s faith is impossible. Sacrifice for the sake of others without expecting or getting anything in return is real sacrifice. When we expect some benefit to our own self or family or company, then, is that a real unconditional sacrifice? Certainly not! Rather, that sounds more like an agreement or a deal or an arrangement. Sacrifice is sacrifice…It is the giving of my last two coins with a pure unconditional willingness to give unto others and expecting nothing beneficial to my self or my own personal interests. Giving is giving. Sacrifice is giving away money, love, mercy, hope, knowledge, and expecting nothing in return. Do you live out this pure kind of sacrifice as you journey throughout each and every passing day? I pray your honest, frank heartfelt answer is YES!
Often, when you come upon a poor or disabled or frail stranger, you can bet that is a person planted into your own personal life by God. Do you see our Lord in this vulnerable man, woman or child? Can you see the Lord in the eyes, faces, lives of those all too often considered to be failures, foolish or lowly members of our community and society at large? Even if you have dollars in your pockets, credit cards on your person or checks in your pockets, is this lowly person still worth more than all your monies, credit cards or checks? Scripture always teaches Yes! Like that widow who gave her last two coins, please open your own heart, mind and soul and be willing to sacrifice when the Lord asks you to do just that. About the rich and the poor widow who gave her last two coins, Jesus said, “For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” Seek the Kingdom of God and you will be granted a rich life blessed with an abundance of God’s love, mercy and justice. Such Divine gifts cannot be bought. Only with a life of great sacrifice can one fully discover, pursue, and ultimately afford such Divine Mercy.
-Father Michael Briese