32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Call to worship

Followers of true Christianity understand that religion never is about judging others. Jesus teaches that lesson in today’s Gospel. Being religious and Christian means offering what we have with our whole hearts and with no judgment.

  • To the point: Today’s gospel contrasts the scribe’s insincere and self-serving behavior with the widow’s honest and self-giving action. Whereas we might discount the widow’s gift of a few cents, Jesus appraises her contribution as the greatest gift of all. It is not the size of the gift that measures its value but the depth of self-giving from which it comes. This is the kind of giving Jesus encourages us to embrace by his praise of the widow. When we are genuinely self-giving, Jesus praises us too.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Mark 12: 38-44) to the first reading: The gospel widow gives her last coins. Elijah’s widow gives her last meal. If Elijah’s widow is rewarded with food for a year, imagine how great the gospel widow’s reward!
  • Connecting the Gospel to our experience: A child’s handmade birthday card to Mom is as precious to her as Dad’s gift of jewelry. It is not the size of the gift that measures its value but the depth of the self-giving from which it comes.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Mark 12: 38-44 or 41-44)

Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came
and put in two small coins worth a few cents.

Two coins were all she had. No attention, no reward,
no place of honor. She gave all she had.
Was it trust or love?
Jesus, give us grace not to count the cost.
Help us let go of our coins.
Take all that we own and all we are.
We ask that your grace be enough for us.

The First Reading

(1 Kings 17: 10-16)

She answered, I have nothing baked, there is only a handful
of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug.

Lord, give us help to do what you ask,
to bake just a bit of bread; to offer our entire lives
feeding the hungry, securing justice for oppressed,
end the crisis of climate change.
Let us trust your promises just as the widow trusted.
Her jars of flour did not go empty, nor did her jugs of oil run dry.

The Second Reading

(Hebrews 9: 24-28)

But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.

Christ offered himself on our behalf forever. 
And he took away the sins of the world. Deo Gratias.

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection