A poor widow gives a small donation to the Temple treasury in Jerusalem. The money would be used to meet the expenses of worship in the Temple, and also to help the poor. Jesus celebrates the woman’s generosity; her gift shows how much the Temple means to her, as the place where she encounters God’s presence. The rich may have given larger sums, but she has made a real sacrifice. In contrast, there are those among the scribes who revel in the prestige of their position, and make a show of piety for their own advantage. Jesus warns that they will be severely judged for their hypocrisy.
Today, we commemorate those who died in the wars of the 20th century, and in subsequent conflicts. They made the ultimate sacrifice. As we remember the price that was paid for the freedom and security that we enjoy today, we are challenged to work for a world where peace rules, and lives are no longer sacrificed.