The poor widow praised by Jesus in the Gospel was able to give all she had because she feels that she is fully loved by God, Pope Francis says.

The Holy Father offered this reflection today before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The Gospel of today is set in the temple of Jerusalem, precisely in the place where people threw coins as offerings. Many rich make great offerings there, but Jesus offers the example of the poor widow, who in giving two small coins, gives all she has.

“Because of her extreme poverty,” the Pope said, “she could have offered a single coin for the temple and kept the other for herself. But she does not want to just give half to God; she deprived herself of everything. In her poverty she understood that having God, she has everything; she feels totally loved by Him and in turn loves Him totally. What a beautiful example this old woman offers us!”

The Holy Father said that Jesus’ lesson is that our gift is not measured by quantity but by fullness.

“It is not a question of the wallet, but of the heart,” he said.

“Faced with the needs of others,” the Pope exhorted, “we are called to deprive ourselves of essential things, not only the superfluous; we are called to give the necessary time, not only what remains extra; we are called to give immediately and unconditionally some of our talent, not after using it for our own purposes or our own group.”

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