The Widow’s Mite

A poor widow came and put in
two very small copper coins.
                —Mark 12:42

The story of the widow’s mite kindles feelings of guilt.

But don’t read more into it than is there.

Jesus warned about the dangers of wealth, but only once told someone to sell all he had and give the proceeds to the poor (Mk 10:21). And he only did that because he knew that man’s money meant more to him than that man’s Lord.

When he observed donors in the Temple, Jesus didn’t condemn the rich; he only compared them—and said by comparison the poor widow gave the greatest gift.

He didn’t imply that the large gifts were unimportant. They were very important; essential to the upkeep of the Temple.

Nor did he say, “Give like this widow.” He just made an observation about her . . . just as he does about each of us.

Generosity, like any other
virtue, is a growth process.

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