In the Gospel of Mark, 12:38-44, we see two types of people who contribute to the treasury. The rich put in a lot and receive no praise for their contribution. However, contributing with only two small coins, the poor widow is highly praised by our Lord Jesus.
The coins of the widow seem to be so little. Nonetheless they have a powerful meaning as they refer to the small and simple things which are done with sincerity of heart. The widow has offered all that she has with her absolute generosity and love. It also means that she has given more than others. It is because she gives what is important to her, while others only contribute what they have over.
This Gospel passage gives us an important lesson on giving. In our daily lives, we have done a lot of charitable work. However, we need to look at how and why we do it. Perhaps sometimes we reluctantly give to others as if we have no other choice. Sometimes, we give because of an unavoidable duty. We give but our hearts are heavy because of some obligations. It is much better for us to give with great love. We give because we are willing to do so, or because it gives joy to our hearts and peace to our minds. We give with authenticity and sincerity, without being forced or tied up by any compulsion.
We have so many things to give to others. May we have the grace to give with a joyful and generous heart like the widow in the Gospel, so that whatever we give, no matter how small or big it is, it will bring more joy to ourselves and others!
Fr Tang Phan