November 6th, 2015 by Gabriel Ipasu
This 24th Sunday after Pentecost brings to us readings that exalt values attributed to the biblical understanding of a widow. I got quite fascinated by a comparative reading of the selected texts that allude to the word "widow". I asked myself, "What if we all could be widows in the eyes of our God, who is the author and owner of all possessions!"
The Old and New Testaments use the word "widow" to describe someone who has lost and has been deprived of possessions. Protection and possessions are but two of the deprivations of a widow. She must fend for herself, relying on the mercy of her immediate family and the community. Interestingly, "widow" as used in the Bible, refers only to women, reinforcing the sense of acquaintance with lowliness, poverty, vulnerability and loss of self-identity. There is no male counterpart such as "widower" which we sometimes use today.
But what the world calls defenseless the Father celebrates. For me, it is a beautiful and fascinating paradox: the Bible presents widows as the most faithful and authentic givers (1 Kings 17:8-16; Mark 12:38-44). Although they are deprived of possessions, they rank among the top givers. God sets them on a pedestal as models of faith for us to imitate.
An authentic offering is a perfect sacrifice that satisfies our God’s desire. Soon we are entering a busy season of giving. Christmas seasonal giving, for most of us, is for the love of God. As a community, we have committed to sponsor a Christmas celebration for the African refugee children (December 19th, 2015) and many other giving opportunities abound.
Whether we consider ourselves rich or poor, imitating the biblical widows in our offering reaps reward for those who receive and those who give. Though the reward may not be immediately apparent, transformation is taking place and eternity groans in anticipation.
See you Sunday,