In the first (Hebrew Scripture) reading and the Gospel reading this Sunday, two widows illustrate one teaching. In the first reading, a poor widow living in the midst of terrible famine is making a final meal for herself and her son; the prophet Elijah asks her to share it. In the Gospel, a poor widow puts “all that she had, her whole livelihood,” consisting of a couple coins, into the temple collection. Total dependency of God is the message. We can only be generous, giving away what is important to our own survival, if we trust that God will provide. Perhaps it is grief that has taught these widowed women to trust, for they have lost profoundly but lived. The early church understood the importance of their living lesson about trusting. Special collections, and eventually the role of deacon, were ways the early church cared for its widows, and a little later widows were given a special, official role of service and prayer through the “order of widows.” The two widows in today’s Scriptures ask us this question: How is my trust in God’s care for me, no matter what happens in my life?
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia