The Lesson of the Widow’s Might, inspired by a very interesting piece of jewelry that was donated to the Owego Open Door Mission recently (pictured below, right), inspires us to think about what we are willing to sacrifice for those in need.
The Lesson of the Widow’s Might (also known as Widow’s mite) can be found in the Synoptic Gospels of Mark 12: 41-44 and Luke 21: 1-4. Jesus shares a story at the Temple in Jerusalem about a widow who donates all that she can offer, which happens to be just two mites. A mite, also known as a lepton in Greek, was the smallest and least valuable circulation, worth about six minutes of a daily wage. Jesus explains to his disciples that the small sacrifices of the poor mean more to God than the extravagant, but proportionately less, donations of the rich. Jesus observed that the widow gave most likely everything that she had to give while the rich gave only a proportionately small portion of their wealth. He explained how much these small sacrifices meant to God.
A bronze mite, also known as a Lepton (meaning small), minted by Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judaea, 103 - 76 B.C. obverse: the blooming lotus scepter of ancient Egypt in circle, reverse: star of eight rays. (Pictured left) The mysterious carved wooden necklace with coin from Jerusalem that came into the Mission as a donation. (Pictured right)
The Tioga County Open Door Mission at 425 North Ave. in Owego, NY
The Red Door Thrift Store and Community Center at 359 Broad St. in Waverly, NY