November 23, 2020


Gospel LK 21:1-4

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, “I tell you truly,
this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”


The “poor widow” put her two small coins in the Temple treasury. It may well have meant her going hungry so someone else could have a meal.

The true value of a gift is the degree of sacrifice involved in the giving.

I know the widow’s spirit of sacrifice still lives; I ran into her modern day counterpart the other day.

As I was driving in Brockton recently, an elderly woman was walking toward me in the rain pushing a shopping cart full of cans.

I stopped to see if she could use a little help and realized it was “Simone,” someone I had delivered food to a few years ago.

Simone lives in one room with the bathroom down the hall. The afternoon I had delivered food to her, Simone told me she had been collecting cans from 4 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and had only earned $7.50. She asked if she could get a cot from My Brother’s Keeper because her drug addicted niece was coming to live with her.

I remember saying, “Simone, that’s very generous of you, but are you sure you’re doing the smart thing? People with addiction problems often bring a great deal of disfunction into the lives of the people who try to help them.”

Simone replied, “I know that, Jim. I was addicted myself once. But she’s sleeping on the street. I have to take her in; she’s my niece and I love her.”

Simone’s words stayed with me, “She’s my niece and I love her.”

Now, several yeas later, as she stood at the window of my truck, I asked her, “Simone, how’s your niece doing?”

Simone was quiet…then she replied, “Thank you for asking Jim. She died of an overdose three months ago.”

“From love comes a desire to sacrifice.” Unknown