HIS WORDâ€¦ AMEN, AMEN, I SAY TO YOU, THIS POOR WIDOW PUT IN MORE THAN ALL THE OTHER CONTRIBUTORS TO THE TREASURY. FOR THEY HAVE ALL CONTRIBUTED FROM THEIR SURPLUS WEALTH, BUT SHE, FROM HER POVERTY, HAS CONTRIBUTED ALL SHE HAD, HER WHOLE LIVELIHOOD.
my wordsâ€¦What is the difference between QUANTITATIVE GIVING versus QUALITATIVE GIVING? Most of us measure how much we can give by computing and counting; others give without counting the cost. The former is â€œquantitative givingâ€, the latter is â€œqualitative givingâ€. This is the case of the poor widowâ€™s offering to the Temple Treasury; she gave everything she had for a living, others gave out of their surplus wealthâ€¦ (Mk 12:44) and still counting and computingâ€¦
The TEMPLE TREASURY. Unlike our present system of collecting offerings by passing the collection boxes or baskets around the congregation, the Temple of Jerusalem had a specific single room for the Temple Offerings called the â€œTemple Treasuryâ€. Inside the room were 13 boxes with cylindrical big mouthsâ€™ opening (resembling the mouths of trumpets) so much so that when one puts in a big coin with a big amount or value, it produces like a musical big bang sound going through the cylinder before it reaches down to the box. If the priests of the Temple should hear a big generous sound echoed from the mouths of the boxes, it was indeed a great joy in their hearts; but should they hear a ting ting sound of the smallest coins of smallest value, it causes their heads to wiggle. This was the poor widowâ€™s offering.
Why 13 boxes? Each box has a label of its appropriation as to where the money goes; either the money of each labelled box will go to the operational expenses of the Temple, or to the general maintenance of the Temple, or to the salary of the Temple priests, or to the material needs of the Temple Offerings and Sacrifices, or to the material projects of the Temple, or to the charities of the Temple, or to the support of the poor in forms of almsgiving, and other forms of Temple appropriations for the offerors to know where their money or offerings go. An opposite area to the lines of boxes in the Temple Treasury was a space for people to watch how people would give their offerings; most of the times rich offerors put in their share with heads up to be noticed by the public that their offering produced a big musical sound pleasing to the ears of the Temple priests, while the poor offerors put in their poor share with heads bent down because their offerings produce only a small ting ting sound displeasing to the ears of the Temple priests. This was where Jesus sat down and observed HOW they gave their offerings and drew a lesson for His disciples on â€œqualitative givingâ€ â€“ an offering coming from the heart, versus â€œquantitative givingâ€ â€“ an offering coming from their surplus wealth (William Barcklay Commentary).
Brothers and Sisters, how do you give your share of offerings to the collection box or basket of the Church? Is it an offering from your heart or just an offering of the changes or â€œsukliâ€ of your shopping and groceries? Do you develop an attitude of doubting before giving your offering to the Lord? The poor widow in the gospel of today has put in everything she had in order to live and she had presented the highest quality of giving to the Lord and she was duly rewarded a hundred times as promised by the Lord. St. Francis of Assisi believed that â€œit is in giving that we receiveâ€¦â€ Let us then reciprocate Godâ€™s graces and blessings in our life. In so doing, God will surely bless us abundantly and cheerfully.
GOD REWARDS A CHEERFUL AND GENEROUS GIVERâ€¦ (By Fr. Julius C. Lupot)