Sunday, November 11, 2012

Her Whole Livelihood

Her Whole Livelihood

November 11, 2012
Thirty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time 2012 B

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
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.'" 1 Kings 17:13-14

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. Hebrews 17:24-26

Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood." Mark 12:41-44


The Hidden Life of Grace is where Piety has its beginning. Only the Ordinary is Extraordinary in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Widow’s mite picks up the essence of Piety. Piety is how we do our best in what is happening in our lives right now. It opens up the heart to true greatness in doing one’s best without the hope of any reward. Piety is Christ’s way of doing things. The thirty years of the Hidden Life of Christ were greeted by the Father in his coming out of the Jordan with “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.“ The Father was pleased with the child who grew up being responsive to his parents. He appreciated how Christ learned from his mistakes. Staying behind at the Temple and not telling his parents was certainly a big mistake he made. We can imagine how he helped Joseph in his carpenter shop. Living his life for the sake of others began in how he helped his mother. Piety has its great moment in the little things no one notices.


We examine how the widow’s mite is important. The two coins were all she had. She gave the best of herself. Others were giving leftovers or what they did not need. She gave all she had. The prophet Elijah was fed by the widow in the time of the famine for a whole year with the little she had.. God makes something out of our little. We give the best of our self by putting all of self into the gift of our lives that we offer at the altar. The question the spiritual journey is asking of us is whether or not we are willing to put all of our self into what we are doing. The question becomes more personal when we realize it should be about whether we are willing to be all of ourselves in the name of Christ.


Too many of us are waiting for the task that is worthy of us. How much love we put into what we are doing now is what makes greatness. What we are willing to do needs to flow from a consuming love for Christ pushing us to return to Christ our freedom and all that we are. Christ lives in our willingness to be all Christ in what we do. The best action of our lives is our willingness to meet the needs of the people now around us in the name of Christ. The value of our lives is in the all-in of our heart’s involvement.

No comments: