Memory of the Poor

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 21,1-4

Looking up, he saw rich people putting their offerings into the treasury; and he noticed a poverty-stricken widow putting in two small coins, and he said, 'I tell you truly, this poor widow has put in more than any of them; for these have all put in money they could spare, but she in her poverty has put in all she had to live on.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus, who is still in the temple, has just warned his listeners from the behaviour of the scribes who boast about prayers but oppress widows. While he is talking, he observes some rich people who make conspicuous offerings, making themselves being noted by others. At a certain moment, a poor widow arrives and almost furtively puts just two coins into the treasury of the Temple. The gesture and the small sum of this poor woman seem completely irrelevant as compared with how much the rich have given. And yet that gesture, considered insignificant in the mentality of this world, is recognized as eternal by the Lord. Her gesture, in fact, is not born from mere calculation but only from her love for God. Truly that widow loves God with all her soul, with all her strength, with all of herself, so much as to give all she has to live on. And love has made this gesture immortal, as it makes immortal every word and ever good deed done for the weak and the poor. We should note also that the alms that were put into the treasury of the temple were used for the organization of worship, the priests' expenses and help to the poor. The poor widow felt responsible therefore, for helping both worship and the poor. It is important to highlight this, in order to avoid a false concept which divides those who give from those who receive. The poor widow feels responsible for helping other poor. And in any case we should say that no one is so poor as not to be able to help someone else who is poorer. There is a circular movement in mutual closeness that lead to help one another: those who have more can help those who have less. Love does not divide us into categories; it unites us in a circular solidarity where we no longer understand who gives and who receives.