Jesus has great appreciation for old women who do their very best.


Long ago, when I spent thirteen years in war-torn Korea, I Iearned enough of the language to get along. Some of their words still strike me as amusing. Like culsay. It means, “Maybe, maybe not. I’m not disputing, but I’m not agreeing.” I like their word kwenchenao . It means, “It aint perfect, but let’s let it go.”

Today’s Gospel got me on this subject. Jesus and the Apostles took seat for themselves opposite the treasury where they could watch the donations people were making. The Korean word for that kind of watching is googyung. The Korean-English dictionaries define googyung as “sightseeing,” but actually, it would be closer to the facts to call it “rubber-necking.”

It is intriguing to picture Jesus sitting in silence while the Apostles were googgyunging, checking on how much each rich man was donating. All that wealth made for great rubbernecking.

The Apostles turned away, and stopped watching when an old woman hobbled up, dropping two tiny coins into the treasury. She held no interest for them, but she had Jesus ending his referee, and leaping to his feet.

He said, “Look at that old widow. She put in more than all the others. They gave from their surplus wealth, but she gave back to God all she had to live on. What love!”

We should enrich our lives with the right kind of googyunging. We should benefit from the heroic example of people who are doing their best to get along when they are burdened with obesity, family disgraces, incurable diseases. It is good that they have Jesus appreciating what they bear up with, and rewarding them. 

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