Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: November 11th, 2012.
Gospel: Mark 12:38-44. The two tiny coins of the widow-woman.
Jesus is paying his very last visit to the Temple, on the Tuesday before his suffering began. And as soon as this incident was over, he leaves the Temple, to get ready for what was about to happen. He was going to give his everything, his all, his whole self, over to his heavenly Father.
Jesus was watching the comings and goings in the Temple. The Religious Leaders (the Scribes and Pharisees) were going around parading themselves, and pretending to be devout and good and ‘holy’. But the reality was that lots of them often ‘devoured the property of widows’, even as they showed off how ‘good’ they were, with all their long prayers, and getting first place at meetings, and having everyone bowing and scraping to them. A load of cods-wallop is how Jesus described them.
And then along comes one of these widows, and what does she
do but put in her very last cent-(we call it ‘the widow’s mite’ or tiny coin). She gave her everything as an offering. And who else was about to do the very same, a few days later? Jesus himself. He would put in everything he had, his whole self. That woman was a model for any who would follow Jesus as disciple,- hers was an attitude of total surrender and trust in God. Give God what you have, totally, in trust that are cared for. Jesus himself would say ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit’,- his last breath.
Do you see any people today, who are full of themselves, showing off their fine robes and clothes, and trampling on other people, treating them as dirt? -and sometimes even doing it, they claim, in the name of God!
And have an eye out all around you for people who give their everything, to their family, or community, or nation. There are plenty of them too, unselfish, who put their hearts entirely into what they do and how they serve others.
Which would be the way of a disciple of Jesus, today, in Ireland or in the wider world?
For disciples reading this Gospel today, note how it is deliberately placed almost shoulder to shoulder with Jesus’ passion and death. Those who give their everything will never lose out. They will find life to the full.
Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.