November 11, 2018 — Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 KGS 17:10-16; PS 146:7-10; HEB 9:24-28; MK 12:38-44
Today’s First Reading from the First Book of Kings, as well as the Gospel passage from Mark, both center on the actions of two seemingly poor and helpless widows who show themselves to be faith-filled and generous stewards.
In the eyes of the world, particularly in biblical times when there was no life insurance or Social Security, these widows were weak and dependent on others to take care of them. They each found themselves in desperate situations — one in the midst of famine with a child for which to care, and the other clearly impoverished. Yet, each demonstrated strength and generosity that distinguished them from those around them. From where did this strength come?
It came from knowing who they are, and Whose they are. These women must have known their security would not come from a good life insurance policy or connections to someone with a hidden storehouse of flour.
No, their security came from knowing they were daughters of the Most High God and from putting their faith in Him. They had no need to panic in the midst of natural disaster or cling desperately to their menial resources. Their faith in God set them free to trust Him when all seemed hopeless. Their faith kept them detached from material possessions. Their faith allowed them to be brave and generous, to think of others despite their own trials.
These women saw themselves as stewards, not owners, of the resources God gave them, regardless of how much or how little they had. And acting as stewards made them gracious, generous and mighty indeed.