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A woman has two pennies and two options. She could go to the temple and give a donation. What will happen is this. The two small coins will be rubbing shoulders with gold and silver pieces. The priest who takes the money will appreciate the gold and the silver. The pennies he could do without. He will not be impressed. The second option is to take the two pennies to the merchants. There she could buy at least a small measure of rice. Perhaps the merchant will see her poverty and throw in a few vegetables so she can make a soup. It is obvious that the two pennies would be more valuable at the marketplace than in the treasury. Still, she chose the temple treasure. Most of us would see option 2 as the better choice because you would get more for your money at the marketplace. She went against the better judgment of common sense. No worries. It turned out to be the right decision because little do the statistics and common sense know that the Son of God was watching. The pennies meant nothing to the priests at the temple. You could not even buy a bowl of soup. But God took the pennies and transformed them into a story that would be told over the next two thousand years while redefining the meaning of generosity. It is not about how much money you give. It is about how much money you have in your wallet after you give. Now we have an impressive example. She gave everything.
Let me ask you this: How do you impress God? God can click His fingers and create a new extension to the universe. How do you impress Someone Who knows how many pounds of boulders it takes to build the beautiful Himalayas? God knows how many gallons it takes to fill an ocean. How do you impress Someone Who can take the most beautiful colors and paint the sky from end to end at the conclusion of every day? How do you impress Someone Who can take the ugliest insect, a hairy caterpillar, and turn it into the princess of creatures with its matching wings? How do you impress Someone Who can think of something and it will pop into existence? The widow in the Gospel just did with two pennies. If she can, so can we.
Think of all the thankless jobs, sitting in the emergency room with a friend for hours, or watching the baby all day. What about all the times you went against your better judgment and picked up your cross, or turned the other cheek, or forgave seventy times? Remember this–it will always be the right decision because we know now that the Son of Man is watching.Back to All Homilies