The contemporaries of Jesus grew up hearing the stories of the cruelty of the ancient kings and rulers. Biblical Accounts give vivid descriptions of the cruelty of the Assyrians. In 722 BC Assyrian armies swept through the Near East . They became notorious for their cruelty. There are caves in Palestine to this day where we can find etched into cave-walls depictions of Assyrian cruelty: men beheaded,
In today's gospel, Jesus speaks about the displacement of celestial bodies at the end of the world, followed by the appearance of the Son of Man in glory to establish the Reign of God. The coming of the Son of Man, "in clouds with great power and glory," echoes a passage in the Daniel. Cosmic disturbances of the sun, moon and stars are images traditionally associated with the manifestations of God's judgment of Israel.
In the temple of Jerusalem there were thirteen collecting boxes. They were for the contributions for the sacrifices and daily expenses of the temple. Many people threw in quite considerable contributions. Then came a widow. She flung in two mites. It was the smallest coin. Yet Jesus said her tiny contribution was greater than all the others for the others had thrown in what they could spare, and the widow had flung in everything she had.