Gospel – 6/4/21 – Mark 12:38-44
In the course of his teaching Jesus said,
“Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext,
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.”
Just two days ago, we heard Jesus praise a lone scribe who came to him asking, “What is the greatest commandment.”
Yesterday, Jesus wasn’t as kind to scribes over all. Belittling their knowledge of scripture. Interpreting the Old Testament (Law) was what they did – and they missed that the Messiah wasn’t the Son of David, but the Son of God.
Today, Jesus warns about respecting these lawyers. Their hearts are not pure. For them it is more about appearances and prestige.
Do we still fight this battle today? Is the most important thing for us our image? How we are perceived?
I know too many people that I call friends who suffer from this image problem. They need to be seen as important. Many times, they will hurt others in their attempt to be seen as something more than they are.
The poor widow is a warning to us all. When she gives all out of her poverty, Jesus says she has given more than all the others.
We all have gifts. What do we give of our gifts. This isn’t about money.
It is about our hearts. I don’t know, nor do I care how much material wealth you may have. God can take that back in the blink of an eye. If your belongings are what define you then you are but a moment away from total disaster.
But your heart . . . if the heart defines you – like the old widow – you will never be destitute. And you will be known by your heart and remembered forever.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…