WelCom November 2021
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 12:38-44 [or 12:41-44]
38 In 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, 39 front seats in the synagogues, and places of honour at banquets.
40 They devour the houses of widows and, for show, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.’
41 He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow also came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples, he said to them, ‘In truth I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the others who have contributed to the treasury. 44 For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she in her poverty, has contributed all she had, all she had to live on.’
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
This end of year, there is always a tendency for red to be appearing on the petrol gauge of our energy levels. How are we going to make it to the end of the year, so much to do and we are running on empty?
This week two widows of ancient times – the epitome of all of those familiar with loss and grief, those on the edge in every sense, without advocates or hope of protection are placed before us. Their jars are almost empty.
‘Do not be afraid!’ is Elijah’s word of encouragement. Pour yourself out – don’t hold back – and in that moment it is the Lord who will keep faith! Every Sunday evening our parish witnesses this action of complete trust and faith, as one of our parishioners digs into his jacket pocket and pulls a worn plastic bag of coins – the remainder of his sickness benefit for that week, he opens the bag and its entire contents gently tumbles onto the plate.
In the Gospel Jesus gives us warning! Beware look out for power and prestige, that insists on respect, that uses long robes and prayers as a façade.
I pray that we will have a sense of Jesus sitting, watching, and accompanying our communities as we enter and engage in our synodal process. May the gathered bishops in 2023 share Jesus’ ‘upside down’ vision. They will need Jesus’ acute listening, to hear the weight and carat that is placed before them, that could easily be dismissed as coppers.