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Scripture Reflections - Nov. 11
Thirty Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

1 Kings 17:10-16
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

Our readings this week are most appropriate, since they highlight God’s generosity to those who give to God “until it hurts!” God, in turn, is even more generous than they are.

Take the poor widow, for instance, in the first reading from the first Book of Kings. Elijah, who is on the run from the wicked King Ahab, finds her out picking up sticks so she can make a fire. Elijah is hungry and asks the woman to please make him a little cake. He soon finds out that the woman has nothing in the house except a small bit of flour and oil. It’s going to be the last meal for herself and her son before they die! Nevertheless, out of this little bit, she feeds Elijah first. He tells her that, as a reward, her oil and flour will last until the rains come again (which turns out to be a whole year!). God will not be outdone in generosity!

Mark’s Gospel narrates a really moving story about Jesus in the Temple, observing those who are putting in collection money. He’s really impressed with a poor widow who puts in two copper coins, all she has to live on.

In her humility, she probably hoped no one would see this, since there were many rich people around her putting in large sums. Far be it from Jesus to discourage the wealthy from making big donations! He’s merely pointing out how sacrificial giving is more admirable than just giving from what one has left over!

Jesus had a soft spot in his heart for widows. They were the most vulnerable people in the society of his time, for there was no “social security” of any kind, and no husband to protect and provide for them. He has just finished a scorching condemnation of the religious authorities for their insensitivity to the plight of these widows. Instead of helping them, they were taking away what little they had through unbearable temple taxes.

The demands made on our “time, talent, and treasure” are often unreasonable. We need to bring those requests to earnest prayer. Then discuss them with family and pastor.

God will be so pleased at your choices.

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