Gospel Reflection Nov 7 – Msgr. Hendricks
Sunday, November 7
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 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.”
Nobody likes others who pretend to be something they are not. Or worse, people who are always looking for approval because they want you to believe they are better than everyone else.
That is the situation of today’s gospel passage from Mark.
Jesus is using this story of the rich who give from their excess, and the poor woman, a widow, with no social status and dependent on others for her livelihood. Jesus points out to his disciples, (you and me), that in the matter of religious giving, God notices the cost of the gift to the donor more than its objective value. In short, the widow gave more and it costs her more.
Prayer is like that in many ways. More than words, it is what is in our hearts that matters. Are we open to the truth about ourselves and asking God to take us as we are and purify what needs to be forgiven and reshaped? The message is clear: give from the heart and accept forgiveness as a step to draw closer to God.