Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the first reading today and in the Gospel reading we meet two widows who are very similar. Both are common, hard working women. Both are poor. Both put their trust in God rather than in things, and the most important, both are rewarded for their faith[1].

What these two widows did is extremely difficult for all of us, I mean, there is something within us all that looks for solutions to our problems outside of the realm of faith. Perhaps as rugged individualists we think that we can solve our own problems, conquer all obstacles ourselves…

I know you will agree that the great fallacy of our age is that money can solve our problems. It is the job of advertisers to convince us that we can buy happiness. It is not true. St. Agustin states in a beautiful phrase: You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you
[2]
The fact is that among those who have been blessed with material success the happiest are those who have no qualms about sharing their wealth.

The radical message of today's readings is that we must place our confidence in God rather than in our material possessions. It is easy to understand but hard to live. This is difficult for us to do because it demands our practicing the forgotten virtue of humility. Humility? Yes, humility: only a humble person recognizes where he or she stands before God. Only a humble person recognizes his or her profound need for God. Only a humble person is certain that the presence of God in his or her life is fundamental to happiness.

The two widows gave from their substance, they put their trust in God shouting with their actions that his presence in their lives was infinitely more important than anything they owned, even more important than everything they owned. They give us the example of ideal Christians, humbly trusting in God to care for them.

Perhaps, some day, you and I will have the profound faith to trust in God as these two widows trusted in God. But, then again, that is one of the reasons why we go to Church, isn't it? We worship God to pray for faith.

The invitation for this week is very simple: let us reflect upon our commitment as members of the Church. Let us assess if we are among the blessed that persevere in their living faith and if we place our trust in the Lord at all time.

Let us embrace the grace of God and the purifying power of the Holy Spirit so we may become Christlike to qualify as children of God ■

[1] Sunday 8th November, 2009, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Readings:1 Kings 17:10-16. Praise the Lord, my soul!—Ps 145(146):7-10. Hebrews 9:24-28. Mark 12:38-44.
[2] Confessions, Lib 1,1-2,2.5,5: CSEL 33, 1-5

Ilustration: The Widow's mite, H. van Rijn Rembrandt, C. 1650-55, British Museum, London.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris