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Empty Cup Contributions

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

If you were to ask a young mother at any given moment if her cup is full, I’m almost certain she would laugh in exhaustion. And yet she still pours. Not for her sake, but for her children’s and ultimately for Jesus. Because the call of the gospel is one of sacrificial love.

The idea that you cannot pour from an empty cup is harmful and misleading. It’s counterintuitive to what Jesus teaches us, and today’s Gospel reading proves that.

"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood." (Mark 12:43-44)

You can’t get much more empty than the cup of this widow. Yet, she still contributed, and Jesus saw.

A contribution given from poverty, is worth eternally more than one given from surplus. We are all poor in something- be it time, patience, finances, self-worth, humility, energy, relationships. Each time we give, despite our poverty, He sees.

When you contribute your spare minutes to a coworker despite there being very few minutes to give, He sees.

When you contribute a calm word or a gentle smile to a child, despite your patience wearing thin, He sees.

When you contribute more money than what is comfortable to the collection, despite the rising inflation, He sees.

When you contribute a kind thought to yourself in the mirror, despite your persistent insecurities, He sees.

When you contribute your praise to another, despite your own accomplishments going unnoticed or your silence, despite the boiling urge to defend yourself in pride, He sees.

When you contribute a cheerful and positive attitude, despite your tank running on empty, He sees.

When you contribute your heart, day after day, despite it having been shattered by the pain of broken relationships or the longing for a love in heaven, He sees.

He sees. He cares. And when we have completed our journey towards heaven and meet Him face to face, He will recall all of these moments when we contributed out of our poverty, and say to us, "Well done, my good and faithful servant... enter into the joy of your master."

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