Homily for the 32nd sunday in ordinary time, year b
1 Kgs 17:10-16
Mark 12: 38-44
THEME: ” GIVING : A CHALLENGE TO FAITH IN GOD
Beloved in Christ, the Church invites us this morning to reflect on ‘ sacrificial giving’, that is giving to the extent that it hurts. This is to help us appreciate the importance of the virtue of charity.
Beloved, the readings of this sunday are a challenge as they set before us the example of people who shared not of the surplus and spare in their life but gave what they needed, what they relied upon. In fact, it is a challenge to give more and also to reflect on what we give . Also, the call to be generous is not only directed to the rich but to the poor as well,for true generosity comes from the heart. Consequently, true giving must have sacrifice connected with it.
Beloved in Christ, let me add that the worth of an offering is measured in terms of the amount of self – giving involved. Giving should hurt, it should be difficult. This is clearly affirmed by the attitude of the two widows whose stories are presented to us in the first and gospel readings of today.
My dear friend, these widows are people who had very little for themselves but strangely they willingly shared what they had. For the first widow, her encounter with Elijah challenged her faith. And in spite of scarcity and poverty, she was able to meet the demands of the Prophet. While the second widow(the one in the gospel ) , with faith offered everything based on her trust in God’s divine providence and thus placed her whole life in the hands of God.
Beloved, these widows teach us that when it comes to giving, it does not matter how much we give, for what matters is how much it costs us. But unfortunately, many a times , what we give away are what we don’t need or want. Also most people think that giving will make them poor and so decline the call to give. But in Tobit 12:8-9, we are told that it is better to give alms than to treasure up gold.
We are thus encouraged not to be selfish but to sacrifice for the sake of God and others , so as to imitate Christ who completely and freely offered himself for our salvation .