November 8, 2015

32nd Sun., Ordinary Time

November 8, 2015:  Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord gives sight to the blind (psalm)
  • 'Hand' pin:  Christ didn't enter into a sanctuary made by hands (2nd reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin: Christ didn't have to offer himself repeatedly with blood not his own, like high priests (2nd reading)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Beware the scribes, who accept places of honor at banquets (gospel)
  • 'Coin' button:  Poor widow's 2-coin offering was more than the others' (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
  • NEW 'Frogs' tie:  FROG, Fully Rely On God (all readings) [thanks, Silvia]

  • 1 Kgs 17:10-16  As Elijah arrived at Zarephath, he called out to a widow, "Please bring me some water and bread." / "There's only a handful of flour and a little oil.  I was going to prepare something for my son and me, but then we'll die." / "Don't fear.  Do that, but first make me a little cake.  The Lord says you'll have flour and oil...."  She did as he said.  She and her son were able to eat for a year....
  • Ps 146:7, 8-10  "Praise the Lord, my soul!"  The Lord keeps faith, secures justice, gives food, sets free, gives sight, raises up, loves the just, protects strangers, sustains the fatherless and widows, shall reign forever.
  • Heb 9:24-28  Christ did not enter into a copy of the true sanctuary but heaven itself, that he might appear before God on our behalf once for all to take away sin by his sacrifice.  He will appear again to bring salvation to those who await him.
  • Mk 12:38-44  "Beware of the scribes, who go around in robes, accept places of honor, and recite long prayers while devouring widows' houses; they'll be condemned severely."  He observed how the crowd put money into the treasury:  many rich people put in large sums, but a poor widow put in two small coins.  "This poor widow put in more than the others.  They contributed from their surplus, but she, contributed all she had."
      Widow's mite/ Christensen
    • Creighton:  Today's readings highlight two poor widows who show generosity and trust in God and stir in me a desire to be like them.  Something simplified them, giving them a capacity for God in their poverty.  In my heart are desires, attractions, hostilities, judgments, worries, tensions, and fears; I can't say it's full of the Lord when I'm so preoccupied.  My possessions can possess me, my anxieties erode my capacity for trust.  Real poverty, dehumanizing as it is, can allow one to see one's need for God.  Spiritual poverty, involving freedom before what we have, or what's come to be our identity, leads us to trust and to know what we really need:  not "Help me to have more!" but "Help me to trust you when I find myself with less."  In that dependence on God, the jar doesn't go empty; instead of asking God to take away my trouble or punish my enemies, I'm asking for help being a healer, being generous to those in need.  Lord, help me give more, from deep inside.  Who needs this kind of generosity from me?  Who needs my charity, beyond my surplus?  May I let You love me into freedom and convince me my real happiness in letting go and falling into Your hands.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Money matters":  Money and possessions matter:  not accumulating them but distributing them as good and faithful stewards of the Lord (Mt 25:21). Trust and obey the Lord.
    • Passionist:  Stewardship is mostly about gratitude and acknowledging God gives us everything; it's a difficult concept a world where success is being self-made.
    •  "This poor widow has put in more than the rest":  Jesus warned against the desire for prominence vs. selfless service, the desire for recognition vs. promoting others' good through loving service, and using one's position for personal gain.  True religion is relating to God and neighbor with love, honor, and respect.  True reverence for God frees us to give liberally, to God and neighbor.  Love doesn't calculate; it spends lavishly!  Real giving must come from the heart; the amount doesn't matter as much as the cost to the giver.  Jesus praised the widow because she gave all she had.  If we put all we have at the Lord's disposal, God can do with it, and us, what's beyond our reckoning.
    • Sunday-trumped saint, from Universalis:  Bl. George Napier, priest, martyr

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