Widow with the Two Mites – Mosaic, St. Sophia Orthodox Church, Canada

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow putting in two mites *. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. ~ St. Luke 21: 1-4. [* Mites, from the Greek lepta, meaning very small copper coins]

Almsgiving above all else requires money, but even this shines with a brighter luster when the alms are given from our poverty. The widow who paid in the two mites was poorer than any human, but she outdid them all. ~ St. John Chrysostom

Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead. ~ St. John Chrysostom

He who gives alms in imitation of God does not discriminate between the wicked and the virtuous, the just and the unjust, when providing for men’s bodily needs. ~ St. Maximos the Confessor 

Love the poor, and through them you will find mercy... If you give something to one in need, let the cheerfulness of your face precede your gift, and comfort his sorrow with kind words. When you do this, by your gift the gladness of his mind surpasses even the needs of his body. ~ St. Isaac the Syrian

The bread you do not use is the bread of the hungry. The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of the person who is naked. The shoes you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot. The money you keep locked away is the money of the poor. The acts of charity you do not perform are the injustices you commit. ~ St. Basil the Great

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