32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

The Gospel this Sunday is most commonly referred to as The Widow’s Mite.

This excerpt is part of the Psalm response by Edwina Gateley to the Gospel passage and the painting by the acclaimed portraitist Louis Glanzman.

The full poem and others of women in the Scriptures may be found in a book titled ‘Soul Sisters’ published by Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 2002

One day as I stood outside my little house,
I saw an old woman shuffling towards me,
clutching a package all wrapped tight in banana leaves.
She looked up at me
– bent as she was and badly stooped –
but her eyes were deep and moist, like yours, sister.
She had no coins,
just the banana parcel which she thrust into my hands.
Her words stay with me still:
“Thank you for staying with us” whispered in broken English.
Then off she stumbled,
back into the bushes from where she had crept.
I peeled away the banana leaves,
and found there,
all snuggled and warm together,
the gift,
the treasure
– three tiny chicken eggs. . . .
All she had, given to me, though I had all.
Three tiny eggs – a fortune against her poverty,
the Widow’s Mite – for me.

Towards the end of her Psalm response, Gateley asks the question, “Are my treasures found, not so much in the coins themselves, as in the desire to hold them?”