November 11 - Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: To give thankfully

November 8th, 2018

 

Widows-mite.jpg

 

First Reading 1 Kings 17:10-16
Through Elijah, a widow and her son are blest with enough flour and oil to supply them for a year.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 146:7,8-9 9-10
A prayer of praise to God who raises up the lowly

 

Second Reading Hebrews 9:24-28
Christ died once to take away sin; he will return again to bring salvation.

 

Gospel Reading
Mark 12:38-44 (shorter form, Mark 12:41-44)

 

In today's well-known Gospel story (Mark 12:38-44), Jesus praises the poor widow's offering, and makes it clear that the standard measurement for assessing gifts is not how much we give to the works of God or how much we put in the collection basket, but how much we have left for ourselves. Those who give out of their abundance still have abundance left. It is said that there are three kind of givers: grudge givers (“I hate to give”), duty givers (“I ought to give”) and thanks givers (“I want to give”). Do we give grudgingly or dutifully or thankfully? The best way to give is to give thankfully, i.e. with a generous and full heart. In their self-sacrifice, these widows embody the love that Jesus last week revealed as the heart of the Law and the Gospel. They mirror the Father’s love in giving His only Son, and Christ’s love in sacrificing himself on the cross. And again we are called to imitate His sacrifice of love in our own lives. We will be judged, not by how much we give—for the scribes and wealthy contribute far more than the widow. Rather, we will be judged by whether our gifts reflect our livelihood, our whole beings, all our heart and soul, mind and strength.