The widow in the gospel gives “all she had to live on”. In other words (and closer to the original Greek) she gave “all her living”. This sacrifice deeply affects Jesus and he makes sure that his disciples understand the lesson.
What is the lesson? Give your all to God, everything counts.
Jesus looks at the intention in which we give. It is the quality of the offering that counts and not the quantity. The more that our actions are done in a spirit of sacrifice and love, the more they count in God’s eyes.
In the end there is only one thing that can unify all our actions: to do them for love of God. This comes back to last week’s gospel and the greatest commandment: “To love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”. God’s love is strong, infinitely great and He asks the same in return!
Now let us come back to the widow in today’s gospel. Wasn’t this widow reckless? — Couldn’t we say that she was imprudent and that it was irresponsible to give up her last two coins, “all her living”? Yes and no. Christ sees a sort of divine recklessness – the faith of a woman who knew that “with God all things are possible.”
In reality, a sacrifice done with love is the most ‘prudent’ and ‘responsible’ action that we can take. The Creator of the Universe and the Savior of mankind, can he not take care of those who love and sacrifice with this reckless generosity?
How then to balance the ‘responsibility’ and the ‘recklessness’ of Christian discipleship? There are no set formulas. This is the risk and the adventure that we are all to discover! As our trust and surrender to Jesus increases, our desire to give all to God will become more frequent and deeper. This desire will lead to actions.
The saints lived this ‘recklessness’ day after day and this is our goal. Surrender your life as fully as you can today (and the next day and so on…) and make a concrete decision to act in a divinely reckless way; to make a sacrifice out of love for God, with all that you have.