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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Sunday of the 32nd Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

November 11, 2018

Sunday of the 32nd Week in the Ordinary Time

 

1 Kings 17:10-16

 Heb 9:24-28

 Gospel MK 12:38-44


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."

 

 In the Eyes of God

 

 

Today’s readings from the Old and the New Testaments teach us about the wisdom hidden in small things and humble actions.


The “mite of the widow” has become a figurative expression in our day to day language. It means a small but sincere contribution made by a poor person who has very little resources.


Jesus sitting opposite to the treasury at the entrance of the Temple watched many rich people making offerings of money. They were doing it in an ostentatious manner. They wanted to be seen and admired for their big contributions. While people were vying with each other to display their wealth as they put coins one by one into the box, Jesus observed in the crowd a poor widow offering only two small coins.


The attitude of that woman impressed Jesus and he wanted to show her to his disciples as a model of selfless generosity. “I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put in more than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have put in money they have in surplus, but she, from the little she has, put in everything she possessed, all she has to live on.”


Jesus was moved by the widow’s readiness to give her whole livelihood, while others gave out of their surplus.


The gifts of the poor have a greater value than those of the rich. Sometime we have to look at the world from a different angle through different eyes. We need to correct our perspective. By nature our attention goes to the rich, famous and powerful people of the world and their performances. We believe that we have to think big and have great plans for the world. We ignore at the same time the small deeds of love and kindness of the poor who willingly share their daily bread with others. We fail to perceive the revolutionary potential of such apparently insignificant acts.


In the eyes of God a small piece of bread and a few coins shared with love are of greater merit than the banquets and bouquets given lavishly for self-aggrandizement or self-glorification. The poor, on the other hand, do not make calculations of any kind of gain as they give away the little they have. Once they have shared their own livelihood, they have nothing and nobody other than God to cling on.


What is it that makes the poor generous in their behaviour?


They trust in God’s providence, rather than on their own resources. That makes the disposition of the poor similar to that of God. From their hearts surge the wellsprings of goodness and generosity. Their infinite trust in God makes them generous givers, because they know that God is the source and provider of all good things. He is the good shepherd who cares, leads and provides.


The story of another widow described in the Book of Kings is also inspiring. It tells us how God rewards your generosity, as you share your livelihood with the hungry.


You will experience his infinite generosity in his providential care for you. The widow of Sarepta trusted in God, listening to Prophet Elijah’s words. She baked bread for the Prophet with the handful of flour intended for her last meal with her son at the verge of starvation death. Because of her kindness to the hungry Prophet, God did not let her jar of flour and jug of oil go empty. They were always supplying miraculously until the season of drought was over.


 The message contained in the readings today challenges us to examine our attitude towards the poor. Usually our admiration goes to who people in the limelight of name and fame. We ourselves desire to be like them. Jesus would remind us that we have lost the proper perspective to look at reality and its genuine values. From the view point of Jesus the human values of selfless love, kindness and generosity are found among the poor and the marginalized of society who utterly depend on God and his provisions.

 

Jesus also gives us an invitation to be poor and to be with the poor. In the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount he proclaimed that the Kingdom of God belongs to the poor. Jesus has also promised that those who give up material possessions for the sake of the Kingdom will receive hundredfold.


The Church stands with the poor and the downtrodden. It is shown in the different ministries for social justice, development, education and health care carried out by the workers of the Kingdom of God. Let us admire and support those who are engaged in the works of mercy such as feeding the sick, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned and the sick etc. Even the little mite we offer and the single hour we spent for God’s poor will be counted by the Lord who sees our hearts and judges our intentions.


 The Eucharist gives us the perfect model of self-gift in love. It should continually inspire us to live our daily lives with trust in God and commitment in service to our fellow human beings.


Amen.


Dr. Sebastian Elavathingal CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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