Sunday, November 11, 2018
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Both the first reading from the Book of Kings and the Gospel (Mark 12:38-44), have widows. Jesus points out the poor widow who came to the temple and put in two small coins in the treasury. Jesus calls his disciples and said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. tor they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."
The other widow in the Book of Kings was also generous as Elijah asked her for a drink and then for a bit of bread. She tells him that she has nothing baked. There is only a little flour in her jar and a little oil in her jug and she was collecting some sticks to be able to prepare something for herself and her son and when they have eaten it, she says they will die as there is no food to be had. Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid. Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son. For the Lord, the God of Israel, says, 'The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.'" And so it came to pass; she and her son and Elijah were able to eat for a year.
I think I like this story as I saw something like it happen in Chile over and over again. We had a soup kitchen in our yard where we fed about thirty or more preschoolers each day. I was superior of the community in Coquimbo and would go over to see the children. Whenever the school was closed, the older brothers and sisters would come with the preschoolers hoping to be given something. Somehow, a miracle happened each time and we were able to provide some soup for all - the women who prepared the soup (the priest sometimes brought us the head of a cow as the base for the soup), had great faith and would tell me that they had prepared the same amount as usual but it just multiplied to serve all the children who arrived with their little brothers and sisters. Often, the bread also seemed to multiply so that all received a piece. It certainly increased my faith to see what was happening.