Jesus Observes Contributors


Awhile Back- the angels asked me to dedicate Sundays to the Gospel Readings. Here is the Gospel of Mark 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
“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.”


The poor widow in today’s Gospel serves as a counterpoint  to hypocritical scribes denounced by Jesus  in the preceding brief passage. He does not present all scribes in a negative light; rather hypocrisy is a major subject of rebuke.In Jesus’ time, scribes fulfilled some of the duties of modern lawyers, and so could serve as trustees of a widow’s estate; often the fee would be paid with a share of the estate.

Today’s message is about spiritual wealth. In reference to the widow – he commends the genuine faith and generosity of one potential victim of scribal hypocrisy. Jesus observes those who come into the Temple complex known as the court of the women, where the Treasury was located. At Passover time many pilgrims would have to come make their offerings for upkeep and renovation of the Temple of the Lord. But among the multitude, one poor widow stands out among wealthy contributors. Though one of the poorest members of Jewish Society, she contributes two coins of the smallest possible denomination. She offers far more than the rich, for she gives generously from the depths of her poverty.

Reference: Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word.

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