I would like to draw our attention to the Poor Widow in Saturday’s Gospel Reading. Our Lord Jesus Christ pointed her out as the correct example to follow: a person with true love for God and for her neighbor. The poor widow who gave all that she had to the treasury for the poor! In giving all she had to the poor, it was as if she had given it to the Lord Himself (Matthew 25:40).
The treasury at the Temple was a public fund for charity and the poor widow had such love in her heart that she considered the poor of her community in much greater need than herself. She gave to others everything she had. We might be inclined to interpret this passage in just a financial way but there is a deeper meaning there. The original Greek does not say that the Poor Widow gave all of her money, but it says that she threw in all of her life (βίον). In the Gospel of John, the Lord is quoted as having said, “No greater love has anyone than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). This is a great example here that Christ has given us. There is no greater love than this. This is true love!
It is not enough for us to love others; we need to truly love them. We cannot love some people a little and others a lot, we have to recognize the Image of God in everyone. We either love them because they remind us of God, who as a Human being laid down His Life for us, or we do not. Some people may drive us crazy, or they may not even like us at all or worse they may even hate us. The Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes all hated Christ but He still loved them and prayed for them and everyone while on the Cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
May our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ who has so much love for us grant that we too may learn to love Him, just as He loves us, and our neighbor as the poor window of Saturday’s Gospel reading. Amen!
Fr. Simeon Pardalis