Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. One poor widow came forward and put in two small copper coins worth a penny.[g] Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.”
[g] Or two lepta (the smallest Greek copper coin, each worth 1/128 of a single day’s pay), that is, a kodrantes (the smallest Roman coin, equal in value to two lepta)
Mark 12:41-44, Common English Bible (c) 2011
My first thought: Jesus measures generosity differently. He is not interested in the accountant’s sum of a contribution. He cares about the total of the person’s very being that is behind the contribution.
While reflecting on this text, my husband, John Clark, once wrote:
Jesus points out a poor widow who gives two small coins — ‘everything she had’.
Mark’s Gospel is the very model of brevity. It rushes through the story giving a minimum of detail. Yet the author considered this very brief snapshot important enough to be included. What does it tell us about how we are called to deal with our possessions?
-Teressa Clark, 2019
Lenten Reflections 2019: Following Jesus from the Mount of Olives to the Tomb ~ Day 14