Daily Reflection – Nov 11, 2018
Sunday 11 November 2018
First Reading: 1 KGS 17:10-16
Praise the Lord, my soul!
PS 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
Second Reading: HEB 9:24-28
Gospel Reading: MK 12:38-44
Today’s Note: Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.”
This poor widow . . . (Mark 12:43)
Let’s take a short Bible quiz based on today’s readings.
1. “The fatherless and the _________ he sustains” (Psalm 146:9).
2. The woman who helped Elijah in today’s first reading is often called “the _________ of Zarepath”
3. The woman who put two small coins into the Temple treasury in today’s Gospel was a ___________ (Mark 12:42).
If you answered “widow” for all three, you’re right. From Ruth and Naomi to the old woman in today’s Gospel, widows play an important role in Scripture. Along with orphans, they are considered the most vulnerable of people. And it’s because of how humble, needy, and powerless they are that God has a special love for them. It’s also why he commands us to treat them in a special way.
The heroine in today’s Gospel had nothing to offer people. She had no money, no social status, no influence that would help anyone get ahead. She was probably too old to care for children or to do even menial housework. All anyone could do was give to her—care for her, protect her, and treat her with respect and honor.
Jesus himself seemed to have a special love for widows. He went out of his way to raise the son of a lonely widow from the dead (Luke 7:11-17). He told a story about a persistent widow to teach us how to pray (18:1-8). And he made sure his disciples saw the generosity of the widow in the Temple.
Jesus has commanded us also to have a special care for widows—along with widowers, orphans, the vulnerable, and the needy as well. Some of them are hanging on by a thread, and they need our help. What’s more, caring for God’s beloved poor also has the power to rescue us from selfishness, pride, and self-sufficiency. It teaches us to serve as Jesus does. In the end, it just may be what will save us.
“Lord, help me to love the widow and the orphan, not just with my thoughts, but with my hands as well.”