What does the poor widow in today’s Gospel have to do with the vision in the Book of Revelation? The vision speaks of those who follow the Lamb, “on their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.”
We associate a lamb with gentleness and meekness; simple, joyful innocence. As Christians we also associate a Lamb with Jesus, “who was meek and humble of heart” who was unblemished by deceit and sacrificed everything for our sake.
The widow offered her “whole livelihood” for the sake of love. Jesus tells us today that it is not what we offer out of our excess, but what we offer out of our need that communicates love. We are all “poor.” We all share the same human condition, and it is from our poverty, from our weakness that we can do the most because then we are most free of our ego.
If we love/give for our own sake – to be recognized, to be praised, to be in control – then our loving/giving is not free of deceit or unblemished. Only when we let go of our desire for attention, esteem and power do we truly love/give of our whole livelihood, our very selves.
As we come to the end of this liturgical year it is good to be reminded of what Jesus’ sacrifice meant and what the poor widow’s sacrifice meant. Do we sacrifice our self in the same way? Do we love/give of our whole livelihood, without thought of cost, risk, reputation, esteem, control, to follow the Lamb?
“Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
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