32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 11/11/2012 - Gospel: Mk 12, 41-44
Real Value
People volunteer to make offerings to the temple and Jesus observed many of the rich who gave the large sums of money while the poor woman gave something that made Jesus think about and later on used it to teach His disciples. The woman must have done an extraordinary thing to make Jesus reflect upon. What did she do? She donated two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Common understanding in our society judges that a person who gave a large sum of money contributed to the temple more than the one who gave lesser money. The majority of people would see that the value of an act of charity is based not on the good objective of a donor but on the quantity of the sum donated because without money daily business would not flow smoothly. The quantity of the sum of money determined the value of the contribution made, not the quality. The larger sum of money the person donated the greater in value we think of it. Jesus praised the rich for doing the good acts and praised the good intention of the poor woman.

Jesus judged the value of an act of charity according to not the value of the gift donated but in proportion to the goodness of the donor's heart.  For Jesus the true quality of the gift does not lie in the gift itself but it is in the heart of the donor and what lies in the heart that counts. When the action is initiated from the heart it carries with it compassion and love and has more value than an action originates from the head. Jesus praised the poor woman for her act of charity even though she gave a little, two coins, but it came from the depth of her heart. What she did was to honour God and didn't care about the judging that came from the onlookers.

The woman failed to do what her heart desired. Her heart loved to give more but she would not. She got praise for something lied in the depth of her heart, namely to give more but she couldn't because she has already given all she has had. She has given more than empty her pocket. She had bargained her future.

She has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on. v.44

She was not ashamed of being poor. She gave without worrying about receiving reward from God or being praised by others. In real life she gave a little but deep in her heart she gave much more- all she had to live on. She gave all and there was nothing preserved for her own safety and comfort that made her great in God's eyes. In the eyes of her society she may be a stupid person for preserving nothing for tomorrow but in the eyes of God she was wise by placing her trust and faith in God.

According to Jesus it is not what and how much you gave but the willingness of the heart to give and the true sacrifice you made in giving that is matter. Jesus praised the poor woman for giving all what she owned and gave it with a humble heart. His way of seeing things is different from the way we understand.