At very low times during my struggle with chronic illness, I have felt that the little I had to give was not important, valuable, or able to serve much purpose. I felt that what I had to offer was not worth it, especially in the face of the effort or difficulty it might cost me when I already had so little to give and so little strength to simply take care of my own basic needs.
The poor widow in today's Gospel teaches us otherwise. Jesus tells His disciples that her simple offering of a couple cents was worth more than all the other contributors to the treasury. The others gave from their surplus, but she gave out of her poverty. She gave all she had. (Mark 12:42-44).
We each have areas of poverty in our lives. For me, it's been through experiences of illness and lack of health. For you, it could be impatience, or exhaustion, or feeling overworked, stressed, depressed, or anxious. It could be addiction, family challenges, loneliness, financial stress or a season of intense grief. In any of these spaces, we can feel that we truly have nothing left to give and the little that we do have is not worth very much.
Jesus shows us another way through the example of the woman in today's Gospel. Our "few cents" of what we feel we barely have ourselves can become an offering of great value. Sanctity can be found in the day-to-day moments when you feel you have no more patience for your toddler's constant requests, yet again offering forgiveness to your husband, continuing to show up for your early morning class, doing the simple boring tasks at work with love, persevering in your commitment to healthy living, checking in on a friend who is struggling, or a heartfelt prayer of surrender. These can be great treasures, especially when we feel particularly limited by additional challenges that seem to get in the way and excuse us from doing what we can and offering the little that we have to others and to God.
It is so difficult to keep going when we feel like we have nothing left to give. Let us remember and practice that what seems like very little is indeed a great treasure when offered to God from a sincere and humble heart.
God is a God of abundance. In faith, what can you give abundantly today, knowing that God transforms our little "nothings" into rich treasures of greatness?
Mary Catherine Craige enjoys spending her time creating art, writing, and playing her Irish harp. As a life coach for business leaders and creatives, she encourages and challenges women to design their lives and accomplish their dreams as the person God has created them to be. You can find out more about her here.