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Nov 7th, 2021 Bulletin & News

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The 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Mark 12:38-44

As he taught, he said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.’

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’

Today’s Gospel is still concentrating on the question of truth, but this time about being true to who we are, rather than presenting an image of ourselves that we think makes us look good. The scribes Jesus refers to, are not honest about who they are. But the widow who puts the two small, almost worthless coins into the treasury is not ashamed to let people see her for who she is.

Our age, even more than the time of Jesus, is so obsessed with image that it becomes the most important feature for our leaders, even more than their message or vision. I listen to Jesus’ words which are such a real challenge to this culture, and to his warning to beware not to be taken in by these antics.

Jesus did not seem to believe in appearances. Shows of piety and religiousness did not of themselves impress him. He saw behind the tiny amount of money to the huge generosity of the heart in the case of the poor widow. He declared often that religious appearances can be empty and hypocritical.

‘Servant’ can be a bad word – our model of Christian service is the service of Jesus. Without losing his identity he gives his life in loving service, wanting to reach us all. His service is in the cause of faith, compassion, justice and love.

 

San Pedro Comms

Author San Pedro Comms

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