Sunday Gospel reflections: In your poverty, what do you still have?

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

"The Widow's Mite" by James Tissot (1836–1902). Photo: Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum/Public Domain

A poor widow puts two small coins into the collection plate. Not much of an event, not much of a donation. However, Jesus immediately sees her real identity. Jesus loves her, in her poverty and in her radiance.

Though neither materially poor nor widowed, I too am a “poor widow,” as perhaps are you. Like yours, my poverty is hidden from sight: my fears, my self-reproach, my doubts about God. I’m a widow inasmuch as I’m incomplete and insecure, inasmuch as I ache over what and whom I have lost and may now be losing. You, too, are incomplete. Maybe you, too, ache over someone or something you have lost or are now losing.

In my poverty, I want God. I want comfort. In your poverty, what do you want?

Two small coins were “all she had.” In the place where I am poor, what do I actually have? I have my desire to find God and to get past my own smallness; my hope that my messy life can become “a new heaven and a new earth,” that God really can get light out of darkest dark. In my poverty, I can still act, though I am vulnerable. At my poorest, I can give God my trust, however shaky it is.

Perhaps that shaky trust is all God asks of us in tasting the riches of the eucharistic banquet.

— Nancy Marrocco


1 Kings 17:10–16

Psalm 146: 7, 8–9, 9–10

Hebrews 9:24–28

Mark 12:38–44 or 12:41–44

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