In our Gospel today, we hear how Jesus puts the Scribes down. He says they wear odd clothes, and say long prayers in order to attract attention. They want to be noticed because they love being honoured. They did not hesitate to take the property of widows, while at the same time making a show of lengthy prayers. They were the opposite of everything Jesus was proposing as the way to love and serve God. They thought only of what they could get through their privileged position, rather than what they could share, especially with those in need.
Teaching his Apostles how to give from the heart, Jesus singles out a poor widow – and widows at that time really were poor-regarded as non-persons, and often reduced to poverty. Yet she approaches the treasury box and drops in two coins–of negligible value. Jesus draws attention to the fact that the Scribes’ contribution was what they could easily spare, whereas the poor widow put in her whole livelihood. This anonymous widow is, in a way, a symbol of Jesus Himself. He also will empty himself; will give everything away, including his life, out of love for his Father, and for us. “Teach us, good Lord, to be generous.”