Canada Revenue Services, COVID 19 and the Widow’s Two Mites

Source: pinterest

Part of my time during the Covid 19 lockdown here in Winnipeg I spent trying to raise some money for a project to increase the awareness of the danger of this pandemic among villagers in Liberia in rural West Africa.

Going door to door in these villages students from the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation in Monrovia have found many people confused about the rumors they had heard and lacking hand soap, buckets and disinfectant to protect themselves.

On their part, many potential Canadian donors were happy to help but only on condition that they receive a tax receipt that they could use in filing their income tax next year with Canada Revenue Services. Happily, I was able to persuade the Canadian Jesuits International to sponsor the project and issue appropriate receipts, but the situation reminded me of the short narrative in Luke 21:1-4.

There were many benefactors to the Temple but only one received the approbation of Jesus. He was reported to have said about the better off donors and the widow: “for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

Needless to say, the poor widow did not receive a tax receipt if such a thing were available, nor did she want one.

When many people are suffering financially during the pandemic their generosity towards those less fortunate than they in Africa and other places is to be commended. But also the modern widows with their two mites are at the same time a testimony to freedom of the spirit without the hindrances of tax receipts or eventual pay back.

John Perry, Sj, is doing pastoral ministry at St. Ignatius Parish, Winnipeg and is researching and writing at St. Paul's College..

  • Eleanor
    Posted at 07:50h, 21 August Reply

    haha, very nice!

  • Lorraine Majcen
    Posted at 09:04h, 21 August Reply

    Thank you Fr John. A great reminder in living truly the gospel teachings. Our motives in helping our fellow human beings should not be what we receive in return materially, or through accolades. Our intention should be simply reaching out in love to someone in need, without anything in return. That is what I see, God is asking of us.

  • Mary Jane Kelley
    Posted at 11:31h, 21 August Reply

    Thanks John. Keep well

  • Mary Jane Kelley
    Posted at 11:32h, 21 August Reply

    Thanks john

  • Eric Jensen
    Posted at 14:34h, 21 August Reply

    Good to know you’re still connected to Liberia!

  • Paul
    Posted at 17:20h, 21 August Reply

    Let’s be careful not to judge to easily………..

  • Dodzi Amemado
    Posted at 21:25h, 21 August Reply

    Spot on!

  • Jenny Cafiso
    Posted at 20:30h, 25 August Reply

    Every donation is an act of compassion, generosity and love. Alongside, there is a natural desire to make a difference. People often prefer to give to a Registered Charitable Organization because it is audited, it publishes its financial reports, it channels its funds to the intended project and has reporting mechanisms. Donors rightly expect that their donations be handled by organizations which are transparent and accountable to people who give generously. Getting a tax receipt makes good use of the commitment of the Canadian government to international development, which is still lagging from its stated target. Every day, I am truly moved and humbled by the generosity of Canadians towards our brothers and sisters in the Global South. This is not to be taken for granted particularly during this time when COVID-19 has affected the lives of many people in Canada as well. The response to the Liberia COVID response project which Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) was ready to support is no exception. We are grateful and humbled by the trust that our donors and friends have on us. Jenny Cafiso, Director, Canadian Jesuits International

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