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Sunday 11 November 2018: Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

This poor widow has put more in than all who contributed

Widow's two coinsToday’s reading from Mark’s gospel reminds us what a great teacher Jesus was. The object lesson he gives, as he watches people making their donations, is one of the best remembered stories of the world’s religious traditions – the ‘widow’s mite’ has become proverbial. Mark sharpens the lesson by linking this incident with what Jesus has to say about ‘scribes’ who ‘swallow the property of widows while making a show of lengthy prayers’. The situation of widows was insecure. The ‘scribes’, so often mentioned in the gospels, were interpreters of the Law of old Israel – the lawyers of the day. They benefited as trustees for the estates of widows, and a reputation for piety could be good for business. Jesus’ words, of course, have a lesson for all of us – people who make a selfish show of their piety, instead of making it a ‘secret’ they share with their heavenly Father (Mt 5:6), give Christianity a bad name...

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of pixabay.com