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power. So it is still that, by secret divine, the most trying afflictions provoke the most brilliant manifestations of divine friendship. The deepest sorrows are frequently rooted in the most merciful designs of our Saviour. To make us more compassionate and charitable, He permits, at times, that we suffer and feel unhappy. Yet He keeps watch with the same divine heart that to the sisters at Bethany granted the resurrection of their dear, lamented brother.
THE WIDOW'S MITE.
ARLY in the morning of the last
Tuesday passed by Him on earth,
"salem. An eager crowd awaited Him at the Temple, where, without any interference, He had been teaching the previous evening. But His enemies were incessantly plotting how to lay hands on His person, since they had tried in vain to ruin Him in the eyes of the people. No time was to be lost; the enthusiasm of the multitudes for Him was growing steadily. Had they not cheered Him after the resurrection of Lazarus in the very streets of Jerusalem and in the sight of the Temple? No prophet ever enjoyed such an honor. We must do
away with "this seducer."
Thus thought and spoke the Pharisees.
Now, to warn for a last time all men of good will against the hypocrisy of His enemies, Jesus pronounced the solemn maledictions against them. That passionate and painful discourse had fatigued Him. Suffering of the soul quickly exhausts our vital forces. But what must not have been the sufferings of Him Who came to bring light and peace and found but obstinacy and opposition?
Jesus had gone to the upper terrace of the Temple, called the Holy. Before He descended to the vestibule, He took a seat in the part of the Lord's House accessible to women, opposite the alms-box. Three boxes, named “Shoferoth” from their trumpetlike orifices, were surrounded by the crowd: Jews of all tribes and of all conditions put in their alms, some modestly, others ostentatiously. Jesus observed them silently...... God thus regards our religious actions, scrutinizes our motives, and notes our generosity. all those that passed before the eyes of Jesus did not notice Him, so we frequently fail to see the eye of God that is always over us,
so little accustomed to heavenly things and so little prepared to perceive invisible realities.
Jesus beheld how the people cast money into the treasury, "and many that were rich cast in much."'*)
Many, i. e., the greater number of the people, give willingly. They fulfil the duty imposed on every man, to render part of the earthly goods bestowed upon him by God to his heavenly Giver. As at the time of Jesus, so in our days, this duty is incumbent on all. God places Himself, as it were, at the mercy and good will of His creatures.
All are overwhelmed with His favors, but those that love Him, feel happy in offering of their own free will from among His own gifts; nor are they jealous, but rejoice when they see others offer more or richer gifts than their own.
Suddenly, Jesus interrupts the silence. Eyes of Jesus, what has surprised you? Silence of Jesus, what can interrupt thee?
It is a poor woman: “And there came a certain poor widow and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing."'**)
*) Mark, XII. 41–44. **) The smallest Jewish coin, about half a cent.
Widow and poor, what a misfortune! This woman does not dispense herself from the legal alms; she gives what she can and more than she ought.
Christian women, poor and suffering, who modestly hide yourselves in the shadow of the church, see and hear what the Saviour is doing!
“Calling His disciples together, He saith to them: Amen, I say to you, this poor widow has cast in more than all they that cast into the treasury."
Never before had the Saviour called His disciples together in such an explicit manner to admire something. This something must, therefore, be very beautiful, O Lord, that Thy own adiniration is not sufficient, but that Thou carest to share it with Thy friends!
To admire what is good, is a salutary and beautiful sentiment in the midst of so much jealousy and detraction, that we cannot help rejoicing to see it honored by the example of Him Who is the “Light and the Truth." “Amen I say to you, this poor widow has given more than all others; for all they did cast in of their abundance, but she of her want cast in all she had, even her whole living."