As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“The opposite of scarcity is not abundance; … [it] is simply enough” (Brene Brown). The fear of scarcity has permeated our news and perhaps our own anxieties, from “Will there be enough toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or ventilators?” to “Am I doing enough?” for my family, for work, for the sick, for front line workers.
A common pitfall for us Jesuit-educated folks in the face of scarcity—certainly for me— is misguided magis (the more). We mask our fears of not having, doing, or being enough with our quest for excellence. Perhaps this was a struggle for the scribes, who depended on visible markers of success, or the rich, who gave publicly of their excess.
How can we respond to the poor widow’s alternative invitation: to acknowledge our poverties, to trust that what we have to offer is enough, and from that place, to give all we have for the greater glory of God?
God of Abundance,
Help me to trust
That in Your eyes
I am enough.
—Katie Davis-CrowderPlease share the Good Word with your friends!