Mk 12: 38-44

As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Total reliance upon God

It doesn’t always feel like it is easy to give from our abundance. Even though there is little risk to it, it can feel like a big risk because of the “what ifs”. What if something happens and I need this tomorrow? It seems easier to believe that our abundance can guard us against the “what ifs”. But in comparison Jesus praises the widow who gives “out of her poverty” and in doing so has given all that she has. She has no safeguards. She has no contingencies. Yet she takes a concrete action that expresses her total reliance upon God. A total reliance upon God does not mean that difficulties will not come our way. It is not a strong guard against the “what ifs”, but it is to be in relationship with the one who is stronger than all the “what ifs”.

What is a concrete action I can take to express my total reliance upon God?

—Fr. Brad Held, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Province and is a campus minister and theology teacher at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, WI.


Only in God is my soul at rest,
in him comes my salvation.
He, only, is my rock, my strength and my salvation.

My stronghold, my Savior,
I shall not be afraid at all.
My stronghold, my Savior,
I shall not be moved.

—Lyrics to Only in God by John Michael Talbot, © 1980 Birdwing Music/BMG Songs