By Fr. Andrew Kelly
32ND SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – NOV. 11
Believing communities with long traditions and emphasis on prayer and worship have a difficult task. They must avoid looking and acting like the scribes in Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 12:38-44.)
Scribal behavioral patterns are so subtle that a community may not know that it is afflicted. Sunday’s Gospel forces the community into some major soul searching.
Jesus’ most damming words are:
“They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers.”
If a community spends lots of time and resources on prayer and worship, it also needs to make sure it spends the same amounts on the poor and the vulnerable as represented by the widow.
If not, Jesus’ damming words strike at the very heart of the community.
Jesus points to the poor widow. She emptied herself of all her possessions as she threw in her last penny. The widow held nothing back, just as a believing community holds nothing back when it comes to Jesus’ mission and ministry.
A real believing community looks and acts like the poor widow. Its prayer and worship must always lead to Jesus’ praise:
“…but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Nov. 11-18
1 Kgs 17:10-16
or Mk 12:41-44
Ti 2:1-8, 11-14
2 Jn 4-9
3 Jn 5-8
Heb 10:11-14, 18