Body and Blood of Christ

Lectio

Drinking Well

 

Baptism of the Lord
32nd Sunday  2012

All She Had to live on

          

In his teaching to the crowds Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares,  to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.”

He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal.
A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny.

Then he called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.”                                                                         
                                                                                       Mark 12:38-44


Lectio

I n his teaching to the crowds Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares,  to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.”

He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal.
A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny.

Then he called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.”                                                                         
                                                                                       Mark 12:38-44

Lectio
Who are the people you most admire?  You may know personally, or you know them through television, radio or the newspapers.  You look at them and say, ‘I would like to be like them’.

In the waiting rooms of the doctor and the dentist I see glossy magazines and I get a glimpse of rich, glamorous, famous people – film actors, pop stars and models. I see them in various rooms in their expensive homes or beside their swimming pools. Most of them, no doubt, are good and decent people, but the magazines present them as great people to be admired and imitated. 

The world of advertising too keeps telling us who to admire and imitate: the successful and the wealthy, with their ever-changing array of consumer goods to make them happy.

It is dangerous to admire the wrong people: we may lose precious things that we have. We may waste our money on things we do not need. We may lose our ability to make do with what we have when it is enough. Good-neighbourliness may fade as we lose our willingness to care, to spare and to share. Our religious faith and practice may weaken too as they fail to make us rich or famous.

She gave all she had
JesusJesus warns us against admiring the wrong people. He said to beware of the scribes with long robes who want to be greeted with deference by everybody. They are the people who are concerned with appearances, pretending to be what they are not.  Who did he tell us to admire? The poor widow with the two small coins. She was not a celebrity; she had no social standing in her community. She had very little but she gave all she had.

From the little that she had
When you think of the people you admire, you may find that they are like the widow.  Or when you think about the widow you may think of other people who were not on your list: relatives or neighbours or strangers who gladly shared the little that they had. Or you think of young people in school who have to work hard to keep up with classmates, who are never at the top of the class or do very well in exams, yet give their all. The athletes at the Paralympics inspired the world as they gave all they had and overcame all kinds of adversity to excel at the games.

With faith and love
People like the widow are generous, not always looking out for themselves.  They trust that God will provide, and are not frightened by the uncertainty of the future.  In these times of economic hardship, the same Jesus who watched the scribes and the widow, challenges us to be true to our best selves, not pretending to be more than we are, or going after foolish things that swallow up our limited resources.  He continues to invite us to imitate the widow, living our lives to the full, with the faith and love that frees us to give all we have.


                                                                            Brendan Clifford
 
Prayer: Psalm 4
When I call, answer me, O God of justice;
from anguish you released me, have mercy and hear me!
O people, how long will your hearts be closed,
will you love what is futile and seek what is false?
It is the Lord who grants favours to those whom he loves;
the Lord hears me whenever I call him.
Fear him; do not sin: ponder on your bed and be still
Make justice your sacrifice, and trust in the Lord.
"What can bring us happiness?" many say.
Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.
You have put into my heart a greater joy
than they have from abundance of corn and new wine.
I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once
for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

 

 

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generous

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