for Sunday, November 8, 2015
Today our readings speak to us about the poor and those who have nothing - and yet who are more generous with God and others than the people who have money and learning and other riches. We are invited to be like the poor in our way of living.
The first reading today is from the First Book of Kings. The readings speak of a poor widow who had nothing left to live on and no money to purchase food. She was completely without resources and so was preparing the last meal for herself and her son. Yet, when Elijah the Prophet asks her, she agrees to bake something for him first and then for herself and her son. For sure, Elijah prophesied that things would be better for her, but not many people would believe enough to give away part of the small amount of food that they have. Blessed is this widow who believed and shared her poverty with another.
The second reading today is from the Letter to the Hebrews. We are invited to see Jesus Christ as one who came to take away our sins and to bring us salvation. This invitation is only accepted by those who choose to have faith. We know that the lives of those who choose faith do not change materially but only in the capacity to view all of life from the point of view of faith. Not many can accept this. Daily more and more people fall away from faith, even though others are still coming to faith. For many people today, the only faith is in the material world.
The Gospel from Saint Mark today is the story of another poor widow. She gives all that she has to the temple. We don't know any more about her, except the words of Jesus, praising her action. For sure her friends would have told her that she was foolish and if she had relatives they might even have scolded her. Jesus praises her generosity and her trust in God.
Faith is a gift but also a choice. As a gift, faith is offered to all, even though not all recognize the offer. Sometimes, even though the offer is explicit and clear, the person cannot understand it and recognize it and respond to it. So we must never just another person's faith. Instead, we are responsible for our own faith.
Faith is our challenge today. Are we ready to trust the Lord, even if we have nothing? Are we willing to give all to the Lord, even our food and our money? Are we willing to live our lives always seeking the will of God and not our own?
Most of us are "on the way" and perhaps not quite willing to give everything. Yet we want to come to that point in our lives and give ourselves completely to God. That will look different in each of our lives. We don't look at others. We keep our eyes and our hearts on the Lord. Help us, Lord our God!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: 1 Kings 17.10-16
Second Reading: Hebrews 9.24-28
Gospel: Mark 12.38-44
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: