Mighty Mite

On first glance, it appears Jesus is extolling the generosity of the poor widow who puts two small coins in the collection basket as he raises her up as an example of missionary disciple. But in the context of Sunday’s gospel, Jesus sees this scene as an abuse of power on the part of the religious leadership of his day who are exploiting the poor and extorting the poor woman of her life’s savings. What is often perceived as a simple story of generosity is really a stinging indictment of the economic imbalance where the rich can give without pain from the surplus while the poor give all they have to keep up the temple. And the religious leadership, caretakers of the Temple, are roundly condemned for their long-winded prayers as they prey upon the piety of the poor.