I need to reflect continually on Jesus' story of the Widow's Mite. Too often I find myself judging others -- especially "street people" -- harshly using society's standards and judging by externals. In this story Jesus reminds us that society's standards are often not his standards. Jesus judges our lives and our actions not by external appearances by the quality of our love.
Temple donors observing the widow's contribution most likely demeaned the widow for giving such a paltry sum. They self-righteously and doubtlessly exalted themselves for their larger contributions: lots of money (but little love); Jesus is not impressed. But Jesus exalted the widow. Giving from her want and not her surplus, her gift was an eloquent sign of her love: little money but much love: Jesus is impressed.
It is comforting to know that Jesus judges our lives and our actions not by their external appearance but by the quality of our love. I need to be reminded of this often, especially when I try hard and fail.
By Richard Hauser