Gospel: Lk 21:1-4
Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury of the temple. He also saw a poor widow, who dropped in two small coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. For all of them gave an offering from their plenty; but she, out of her poverty, gave all she had to live on.”
It is a striking fact that, according to a lot of fund-raisers, the largest proportion of the money they raise comes in the form of small donations, not big ones. In fact, they will tell you, the big donations are few and far between. And these big donations are often enough the result of assiduous personal solicitings, not spontaneous offerings. As a rule, the poor are more generous than the rich—not in terms of absolute quantities, of course, but in terms of proportionate quantities (the size of the amount given in proportion to the means of the donor). Now why is this? Why is the widow in today’s gospel reading so much more generous with her tiny donation than everybody else?
No one has ever been able to explain this phenomenon satisfactorily, so we are left to our own devices to find an explanation. One guess is to associate wealth with the habit of grasping, coveting, scheming, etc. , which is the very opposite of giving. Maybe, if you have long been trying to gain money all your life, you have lost the reflex of giving it away in charity.
Anyhow, what is of decisive importance here is the motivation, the heart with which you give.