Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

All she had to live on.

Jesus often drew from the people and things around him to teach the apostles. They’ve arrived in Jerusalem and probably overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the city. There are plenty of ‘holy men’ around, but Jesus warns not to be taken in by outward show. The treasury of the temple had big brass trumpet like collection boxes, so that when a donation was put in it made a big noise. The poor widow’s coins wouldn’t have been heard, but Jesus points to her generosity as drowning out all the others.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.



‘Please’, Elijah said, ‘bring me a scrap of bread in your hand.’ ‘As the Lord your God lives,’ she replied, ‘I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a jar and a little oil in a jug; I am just gathering a stick or two to go and prepare this for myself and my son to eat, and then we shall die.  (1 Kings 17:11-12)

  • Why does she say, “As the Lord your God lives…”
  • Have you ever been in such desperate circumstances?
  • How did the Lord show himself in that situation?
  • Let the Lord speak to you heart about his concern for you.



For this the Lord speaks, the God of Israel: “Jar of meal shall not be spent, jug of oil shall not be emptied, before the day when the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.” The woman went and did as Elijah told her and they ate the food, she, himself and her son. The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied, just as the Lord had foretold through Elijah. (1 Kings 17: 14-16)

  • Have you ever experienced a miracle?
  • Have you ever found your resources were greater than you thought?
  • What has the Lord foretold in you life?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his care for you.



It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever, who is just to those who are oppressed. It is he who gives bread to the hungry, the Lord, who sets prisoners free. It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind, who raises up those who are bowed down. It is the Lord who loves the just, the Lord, who protects the stranger. (Psalm 145:7-9)

  • Looking though the list where do you see yourself?
  • Looking though the list where do you need help?
  • Looking through the list who do you help?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his faithfulness.



Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28)

  • Reflect on your faults that the Lord has taken on himself.
  • Reflect on ‘judgement’.
  • Reflect on ‘salvation’.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his self-offering.



In his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive. (Mark 12:38-40)

  • Do you know anyone who makes a show of their religious faith but is actually doing harm?
  • Have you ever sought human affirmation for your faith?
  • Why will the scribes’ sentence be more severe?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his justice.



He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny.’  (Mark 12:41-42)

  • Are you generous?
  • What does the contribution you make to the church say about the value you place on it?
  • Have you ever been too generous?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart his generosity.



Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had had put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on. (Mark 12:43-44)

  • Reflect on the generosity of the widow.
  • Reflect on why she was so generous.
  • Reflect on why Jesus singles her out as an example.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his total commitment to you.

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