Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature Monday 26 November 2018
Gospel: Luke 21:1-4
In today’s Gospel, Jesus weaves the praise of a poor widow who knows how to share more than the rich. At the beginning, in the Church, the great majority of the first Christian communities were formed by poor people. After a short time, well- to - do people also entered these communities and this caused several problems. The social tensions which were present in the Roman Empire began to appear in the life of the communities. For example, it manifested itself when they met together to celebrate the supper, or when they held a meeting. This is why the teaching of the act of the widow was very meaningful, both for them as well as for us today.
The treasury of the temple received much money. All gave something for the maintenance of the worship, to support the clergy and for the preservation of the building. Part of this money was used to help the poor. The poor lived at the mercy of public charity. The persons who had the greatest needs were the orphans and the widows. They depended on the charity of others for everything, but even in this way, they tried to share with others the little that they had. Thus, a very poor widow put her offering into the treasury of the temple of just two pennies!
According to the majority, the money of the rich was more useful for charity, than the few pennies of the widow. For example, the disciples thought that the problems of the people could be resolved only with much money. On the occasion of the multiplication of the loaves, they had suggested buying bread to feed the people. In fact, for anyone who thinks like that, the two pennies of the widow do not serve for anything. Jesus has a different criteria. Calling the attention of the disciples to the act of the widow, He teaches them and us where we have to look for the manifestation of God’s will: in the poor and in sharing. This is a very important criteria.