Working for the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrasesBeware of the scribes, poor widow, put in more, contributed all she had, her whole livelihood

To the point: What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? Jesus tells us when he contrasts the behavior of the self-important scribes and the rich with the action of a poor and seemingly insignificant widow. Without calculating the cost to herself, the widow gave “all she had.” Disciples, too, give all they have without counting the cost, calculating self-gain, or seeking attention. The “whole livelihood” disciples give is their very selves.

Connecting the Gospel …

… to the First Reading: The First Reading is really about more than a widow who risks the last bit of her flour and oil to respond to Elijah’s need. The story depicts the hundredfold God returns to those who are so exceptionally generous.

… to experience: The law of survival tells us to watch out for ourselves first. Jesus condemns those who live by this law (“receive a very severe condemnation”) and praises those who choose to give even out of their little.


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson