Homily 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – Giving


Homily (Sermon) - Giving

The Readings for Sunday 11th November 2012  or Thirty Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B:
1 Kings 17:10-16
Psalm 145:6-10
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44
[These readings can be found at www.universalis.com for the next few weeks.]

Today our scripture talks about giving, and not just giving but giving till it hurts. Sacrificial giving, giving that is a sacrifice.

In the old testament reading a widow, living in the middle of a famine, with a son to feed gives Elijah a scone of bread made from her last handful of flour. That must have taken most of the flour make, at least half of everything she had.

In our gospel reading we hear the well known story of the widows’ mite. The widow, quietly and almost ashamedly, drops to small coins into the temple treasury. The coins she dropped in were worth the smallest of value. But even though the value of the coins is small, it was all she had. It was her only chance of a meal that she gave.

If you think back a few weeks, can you see the contrast between these two poor widows and the rich man who approached Jesus and asked what he must do for eternal life.  Christ told him to give everything away, and he couldn't do it. The two widows, we hear about today however, can and do. They freely give all they have, and open their lives up to the mercy of God.

Christ, when he sees what the widow in the temple has done, has to tell his disciples. The example is to wonderful not to be passed on. Christ compares her to the people giving lots, those who can afford to give, those who give what they have spare.

I am left wondering what happened to that widow, I am sure that at the end of her life she met Christ in heaven. With a great grin on his face He looked at her and said, “I watched you on the day in the temple, when gave your last two coins, I was so proud of you.” But I also wonder what her life was like after taking that step, that step of trust, of faith, the step to give everything to God. To hold on to nothing and put your life in His hands. We all have this opportunity but so few of us take it.

This weeks teaching is challenging. This week we are given examples of people who gave, who gave not the spare and surplus in their life, but gave what the needed, what they relied upon. What do you currently give? I don’t mean what do you drop in the collection plate, I mean everything, what do you give of you time, your possessions, your wealth, your love, your knowledge, you experience. What do you give?

I know you are giving an hour or two today in worship. You are here to love, worship our Lord and to meet Him in the holy Eucharist. What else do you do? What else do you give? Think about it? Today’s scripture should do two things, it should challenge you to give more and it should make you reflect on what you do give.

In some way your giving should hurt, it should inconvenience you, it should be difficult. It should be something that if Christ was watching, and I promise you He is, that he would be proud of.

There is also today another example of giving for us to remember. Today is Armistice, the 11th of the 11th, the day we remember those who gave their lives in war for us, for their friends and families. The men and women we remember today, gave everything. They gave their life. Their is nothing more that can be given in this life, than this life itself. We are so lucky today, here in this country, to live in a world that can barely imaging the horror of the war. We can see news reports and watch war films and study history, but few of us know war.  I certainly don’t, and I am grateful that I don’t, I am grateful to those who gave everything.

You are challenged to give, to give of yourself, your time, your possessions, your wealth, your love, your knowledge, your experience, your life. Your God asks you this, and as an example He has already given His life, just for you. When you meet Him in heaven as I know you will, what gift will he be referencing to when He tell you, “I saw you give, I was so proud.”




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