Luke 21:1-4 - Jesus likes poverty
When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."
It is always so refreshing to hear Jesus applauding a specific person. The more relatable that person, the more uplifting it is to us readers. And how much should we be able to relate to poverty!
Poverty is maybe one of the most universal and objective features of us humans when standing before our God. We cover our poverty with earthly garments, of course. Money, objects, securities… However, nothing of this will last forever. On the contrary, all of it will stay behind when we set out on the last journey to meet our Creator. Hopefully, we possess other, not-material things too: character, virtue, knowledge. These things are less expirable. But do they make us rich?
It seems like human poverty is like human nakedness: We can cover it, we should. But we cannot deny the fact that we are born naked and that whatever our wardrobe is will decay into dust eventually. In the eyes of men, we can dress richly. But we cannot hide our essential poverty from God’s eyes.
If that makes us feel uncomfortable; if we suffer from the idea of being poor and, thus, lacking control and security: then we can truly relate to the poor widow in today’s Gospel. How pleasing to feel that Christ’s penetrating look, which certainly sees our essential poverty as clearly as the material poverty of that lady, is so kind and warm. Precisely because He takes into consideration our poverty does He value our small efforts of doing good. In the light of this Gospel, knowing ourselves to be poor in the eyes of God is not depressing but, on the contrary, uplifting.
Let Jesus look at your poor heart in the same way in which he looked at the poor widow. All we possess we have received from Him. A lot of what we possess we use to cover our poverty and to convince ourselves and others of a wealth which is not really ours. Like children pretending to be adults. Our Lord is our true wealth and His Kingdom is our rich inheritance. Let us thank Him for seeing, accepting and loving us in our poverty: If He likes it, then we can like it too.