WHO CONTRIBUTES “MORE THAN ALL”?
“’Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.’ And he looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and he saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So he said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.’” (Lk 20: 46 – 21: 4)
So, our “standing” in our church-community might be one thing in the eyes of people, and quite another thing in the eyes of God. Those of us who, like the scribes, “desire to go around in long robes,” and love getting “the best seats” at church-gatherings; and those of us who are wealthy and hence appear to donate “more” to the Church’s “treasury” than do the poorer folks, are not necessarily offering “more,” as far as God is concerned. This also goes for the amount of time and energy we are able/willing to spend at church-services and on church-related activities. I might, for example, sing or even conduct in the church-choir, and/or organize the coffee-hours after Liturgy, and be active in the parish-school. But do I contribute “more” than the single mother who works two jobs, but finds the time to pop into church occasionally, just to put up a candle? Do I contribute “more” than the middle-aged man who suffers from severe depression, ever since his divorce, and yet suits up and shows up at church every now and then, and sits in the back?
I don’t know. God knows, though, because He sees our hearts, and what it takes for some of us to offer of ourselves “out of our poverty.” So if I’m one of these really active, “contributing” members of a church-parish, let me abstain from evaluating what others do, or don’t do, in the community. God can see who “has put in more than all,” and that person might go entirely unnoticed by the rest of us.