If I had to hazard a guess, every day she had to face that almost-empty jug of oil. Every day required faith.

Joannie WatsonDo I really have faith? That’s the question that kept coming to me when looking at the readings for this Sunday. Both the first reading and the Gospel feature widows that possess great faith. It can be easy to pass over the stories, commend the women for their faith, and move on. Too often we hear the stories of Scriptures as nice little vignettes or fables that present lessons for us, without thinking past the words on the page. Yes, Jesus praises the widow in the Gospel for her almsgiving. But have we thought about the radical nature of her gift? What does her action mean when she goes home and has no money? What does her life look like?

The first reading is the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath. Again, it is easy to hear the story in isolation without thinking deeper about the life of this widow.  …

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