Tuesday: Self-Giving Love


It happened in the Temple
the part that was more like a marketplace than a church,
a widow, poor
and of any imaginable age
pays her temple tax with two small coins,
a mite, but all she had.

And Jesus says something like:
“The truth is, this woman has put in more than all who have contributed to the treasury;
for they have put in money from their surplus,
but she put in everything she possessed from the little she had –
all she had to live on.”  -Mark 12:43-44

When have you known in yourself you would give everything,
everything for someone you loved?
Your kids perhaps? Your partner?

When have you felt you wanted to give more of your whole self
just because it was the right thing to do?
just because you were called by something deep in yourself?

And I wonder
when Jesus was sitting in the temple
surrounded by his disciples,
noticing the poor widow offering
all she had to live on
if he didn’t see himself in her:
An offering of self-giving Love.
An offering of self-giving Love.

See also:
Monday of Holy Week: Stilling

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  1. Love this reflection; Jesus not only noticing the widow but seeing himself and his own giving in hers.

  2. Very profound, and in my thoughts, I would have given anything if my young sister-in-law, Florence, could have lived, but then as I saw her horrible decline, I saw life as we know it was not to be. Then, the time of acceptance was even harder. Jesus, too, knew as time went on that his acceptance in this world as a human being was not to be, and then He went on to become The Christ of the Christian Church.

  3. When Jesus saw the widow give her last coins to pay the temple tax, did he wonder at that? That a tax would be levied against those who were truly unable to pay, and keep body and soul together? It seems to me, from his statement, that he saw the injustice in it, even while recognizing the depth of the widow’s devotion.
    For me it is a call for self-giving love, and concern for justice that is not just words.

  4. This story has been used so often to inspire giving. I agree with you; it is more about justice and an institution caring for the poorest of the poor not asking more from them.

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