Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 8, 2015
R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
Reading 2 Heb 9:24-28
Alleluia Mt 5:3
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 12:38-44
Homily— November 7 & 8, 2015
The central figure of the first reading and the gospel is a widow. My mother became a widow at the age of 49 and lived the next 31 years as a widow. I ate a couple of meals on the cruise ship with an elderly widow who was traveling alone and said that she had been on at least 50 cruises. For people living in Florida it can be inexpensive to go on a cruise with a last minute super fare.
I had over 175 people attend the Masses aboard ship for the weekend and at least 30 came to each of the daily Masses. There were 800 people on the crew and they make a nine month commitment. Many were from the Philippines and from Indonesia. A number of them came to me for blessings and one young man was sad as he had learned about his wife having an affair and was returning home and asked my prayers. I was able to offer some consolation to a man whose sister died at home while he was on the cruise. I met many good people on the cruise, some from Cochabamba, Bolivia, some from Canada, some from Spain, some from France and a couple from Budapest, Hungary! However, I am not planning on any future cruises.
As we approach the end of the liturgical year; the focus of our Sunday readings turns to the end times and what is expected of those who claim to be faithful disciples of the living God.
In the first reading from 1 Kings, we encounter an unnamed widow providing for her son who is willing to share their last morsel of food with a stranger. She is a gentile who does not know the Jewish God or Elijah the prophet. She has nothing. Yet, she is concerned enough for a stranger that she is willing to share even the little she has. Her risk, along with her care for a stranger; depicts her as a woman of faith and trust in the face of almost insurmountable odds Such human giving and care for others is rewarded a hundredfold by God, who supplies our needs beyond all expectations. I love the verse that states “The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.”
Jesus, through his willingness to sacrifice his very self by means of shedding his own precious blood, shows us what God is all about. Christ’s love and compassion are so powerful and real that nothing gets in the way of his willingness to offer all for the other. Christ, the image of the invisible God fulfills Psalm 146 by giving food to the hungry, setting captives free, protecting strangers, giving sight to the blind, caring for the fatherless and the widow. When Christ appears a second time he will “bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.”
We have widows and widowers, fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, brothers and sisters and friends who we remember specially this weekend who were willing to give of their all for us. I pray that I can be as willing to help and share as the widows in our readings this weekend and all of our loved ones who were able to place their trust totally in Almighty God when the end was in sight. Maybe we can place our confidence in God each day by praying the Morning Offering.
“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in reparation for my sins and for the intentions of the Holy Father.’