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32nd Sunday of O.T. - Cycle B

November 8th, 2015

~ Giving ~

 

 

 

Reading 1


1 Kgs 17:10-16

In those days, Elijah the prophet went to Zarephath.
As he arrived at the entrance of the city,
a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her,
"Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink."
She left to get it, and he called out after her,
"Please bring along a bit of bread."
She answered, "As the LORD, your God, lives,
I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug.
Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks,
to go in and prepare something for myself and my son;
when we have eaten it, we shall die."
Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid.
Go and do as you propose.
But first make me a little cake and bring it to me.
Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, says,
'The jar of flour shall not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'"
She left and did as Elijah had said.
She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well;
the jar of flour did not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.


Responsorial Psalm


Ps 146:7, 8-9, 9-10

R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

 


Reading II


Heb 9:24-28

 

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

 


Gospel


Mk 12:38-44 or 12:41-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation."

He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"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."

 

 

 

He was sitting in the temple, the place he called the house of Abba.  He had spoken about its discontinuation on several occasions.  He had spoken about its closure.  He had even spoken about its destruction, but it was still the old house of Abba.  He sat somewhere on the foot of a column, to take in more easily the things happening around him.  The scene he was in must have been fantastic, as far as we can judge from the reconstruction made.

 

Very important people would suddenly appear on the scene, enormously rich merchants who made their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem from far-off-countries.  They were lavishly dressed, full of money.  They were very willing to deposit large sums of clanking silver and gold in the offering boxes in view of their further business interests, before starting their deals.  The priests in that time had quite a bit of influence.

 

Jesus looked at them, listening to the noise the money made.  He was not impressed.  Priests would appear dressed in a way that singled them out from the common people as much as possible.  When they appeared, the Jewish commoners immediately gave way.  The best places were evacuated, pillows and cushions were brought in to allow them to pray after their servants cleaned the seats to avoid any kind of impurity.  Jesus looked at them.  He listened to the noise of their prayers from the foot of the pillar on which he sat.  Again, he was not impressed. 

 

Scribes came in, people who knew the law.  They knew it so well because, for the greater part, they had made it up themselves.  Does this sound familiar?  They would sit down to listen to the legal difficulties of those who were willing to pay and were defenseless against the hypocritical defenders and protectors of their rights.  They would listen . . . up to the moment that the last penny of their victims – often poor widows and disinherited orphans – had been paid to them, after having sold the last things they had in this world.  Jesus looked at them, he listened to the noise of their voices and the scratching of their pens.  He was not impressed.

 

Others were very impressed.  They had come from all over the world to the temple, to see that spectacle.  It was there, they thought, that you could see life, the real thing.  It was there, they said, that human life was decided.  It was there, they supposed, that the future was made.  Up-country people, a little shy because they felt badly dressed and not at all at ease, gaped a those merchants, priests, and scribes.  Jesus too, looked at it all from the foot of the pillar on which he sat, and he was not impressed in the slightest.

 

Then she came in – old, wrinkled, sickly, and very thin.  In her hands she carried a handkerchief.  She was hiding something.  She went to the offering block.  Jesus looked at her.  He did not say a word. He just looked.  At the offering block, she opened her handkerchief.  Now he could see what she had been hiding:  two small copper coins, all the money she had.  She could have divide those two coins between herself and the temple, one coin for each, but she did not do that.  She took both her coins and dropped them in the opening of the offering block, already being pushed aside by others with bags and bags of gold and silver.

 

Jesus stood up.  He called his disciples together.  In between all that pomp and circumstance, the silver and the gold, the cassocks and the capes, the mitres and the crosiers, the books and the dusty papers, he pointed her out to them and said:  “She gave all she had.”  She was pure in her intentions.  Look at what she did, and forget about all the rest.

 

Many of us often wonder about the things we do in life.  “Was I really born,” a housewife might sigh, “to change the diapers of my children?  Shouldn’t I do something more important?”  “Did I really come into this world, “a never promoted clerk might say, “to push papers all my life?  Is that all there is to my existence?”  When we worry like that, and who doesn’t? – we should remember that scene in the temple, this scripture reading, where a simple act of love was considered greater than anything else in the world:  the real and decisive thing. 

 

Giving all she had was more imporatant than anything the others had done, because it was done from heart, out of love.  Isn't that suppose to be what we should do, Give from our hearts?  Does it really matter what position of our job, what career, how much money we have, what we own, who we are, or who we think we are?  None of that matters to Jesus my friends.  He only cares about the heart!  Is it a giving heart, not so concerned about what it is or how much or how little, but more concered with "how it is given."  Whe we give to others out of love, no matter how great or small, that my friends, is all that matters to Jesus!  And perhaps that is what should only matter to us!  Peace!

 

 

© Deacon Steve A. Politte

November 8th, 2015

 

 

God's Return Policy

 

Like the prodigal son who went his own way,
God waits for you to return to Him everyday.


With sadness as He watches you try on your own,
Knowing the life that He gave you wasn’t meant to live alone.


After falling down you wonder can I even return?
To my Father who I need, and for whose love I yearn.


You ask yourself will He even let me come home?
There is so much I’ve done and so many places I’ve roamed.


As you make your way back you can hardly believe,
There is no line to wait in His arms are open for me.


No questions were asked and you wasn’t turned away,
You didn’t have to show no I D God knew you in everyway.


God’s return policy is filled with unconditional love,
His door is always open as He greets you with a hug.


Happy His child has returned and is finally home,
Hanging onto His hand with Him your never alone.



Written By Eva Dimel
Inspired By God
November 6th 2012

 

“Come to Jesus” by Chris Rice

 

 


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