Yes, that it is what I am calling them the “rich” widows, even though we know them as poor.  The reason that I am calling them “rich” is because I believe that they show us how to be rich.  These two widows, the one depicted in our Gospel passage-and the widow of Zarephath in the First Reading, show us how to be rich, but we will get to that a little bit later.  First of all let’s look at what St. Mark tells us about Jesus, at the beginning of this passage. He says that Jesus sat opposite the treasury and watched how the crowd put money into it.  Could you imagine that happening here?  I suppose Jesus did not get the memo saying that’s just simply not something He was supposed to do.  And then He said that this poor/rich widow gave more than everyone else. Why? Because she gave a much higher percentage of her wealth than the others did-and that is what makes her rich and the others not so much.  Her perspective and relationship to money and wealth is different than the others who put money into the treasury-as well as to the perspective that many of us still have today.  We think of money as something that we want to get, to acquire, and to pursue.  We hope to get money so that we can get rich.  These widows don’t see it that way at all. They see everything that they have as gifts that have been entrusted to them by God, which they are to use for His Kingdom.  The widow of Zarephath gave her last bit of bread to the man of God. The widow in the Gospel gave her last bit of money to the Lord. And therefore they became rich. Neither their bread nor their money ever ran out and we can be sure they are reaping eternal benefits to this day. Instead of serving money they served God. So what about us? This is one of those relationships we need to get right. Jesus talks about it all the time and He even watches how we work it out. Do we want ultimately to serve God or to serve money-we cannot serve both. Do we want to get rich, or do we want to be rich.  “Getting rich” may or may not ever happen for us, but it will never make us happy or solve this dilemma.  “Being rich” is something that can happen right now and the rewards are eternal.



AuthorCathy Remick