It is providential that the readings for Remembrance Sunday this year speak of two widows: the Sidonian widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:10-16) and the widow putting two copper coins into the temple treasury (Mark 12:41-44).We do not know how these two women came to be widows: it may or may not have been through warfare. But certainly we know the immense human cost of war through the ages on those who are made widows and orphans. How should the Christian respond to such tragedy?
The stories of these two widows perhaps give us some guidance. The Sidonian widow, bereaved and believing that starvation is just round the corner, shares what little she has with the Prophet Elijah and receives from him a message of hope from the Lord for the future. In the face of warfare we must continue to hope for a better future, both in this world and the world to come.
The widow at the temple gives “all she had to live on” to the temple; we too should give our all for the building up of God’s temple: not so much the physical edifice, but the communion of faith, charity and peace which is the Church. After the destruction of war, we rebuild for a peaceful and faithful future.
We hope, and we rebuild: and thus show a world of despair and destruction a better way.