Giving Our All

Jesus sits down opposite the treasury, and watches the crowd putting money into the collecting boxes. Many rich people put in large generous looking sums, but nevertheless large sums that they can easily afford. Then along comes a poor widow and puts in two small copper coins, doubtless all she has.  Jesus points out that because she has given her all, her     contribution is worth far more than the rich people’s contribution. Jesus teaches us a difficult lesson in generosity.

We have to give until it hurts, whether it‘s a giving of our   money or of our time and energy. If we only give a small part of ourselves then the question we have to ask is, what is it that we are holding back, and more importantly, why? Do we only give a fraction of our resources because we lack faith? Do we hold back from giving because we imagine that the money we give might not reach its intended destination, or that it might not make any difference? Do we hold back because we lack  empathy, or have become immune to the plight of the disadvantaged? Do we hold back because we feel we have better ways to spend our money and our time? Do we hold back because we imagine there are plenty of other people better fixed to help out than us? Or do we simply hold back because we feel our own needs should come first?

It would be useful if God advised exactly what percentage of our money and time we should give, but the only clue we are given in today’s gospel is that we are judged not by our outward show of generosity, but by what is in our hearts.