07 November 2021 – 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

by Fr Francis Anthony

1 Kings 17:10-16
Psalm 145:7-10
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

Theme: God sees our giving

Dear friends, the new norms because of this Covid is controlling our movement – “I’m not able to do what I want when I want but because of my love for my neighbour that I don’t be instrumental in getting someone sick, I’m checking myself.”  Very often we will see the negative side – “I can’t go”, and for many Catholics, “Oh I can’t go for Mass”.  But a disciple is one who acts accordingly to the situation he is in, whether it is MCO or not MCO, how am I behaving.  God is reaching out to us, he is not being controlled by MCO or any SOPs

He’s reaching out to us and it comes very freely in today’s responsorial psalm.  The response we made was that “My soul give praise to God“.  Yes, my soul give praise to God but for what?  Just because a beautiful statement and I’m doing it? And we look into the verses.

In the first verse,
“It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord, sets prisoners free.
He comes with justice to those who are oppressed”. 

And in the second verse it says,
“He gives sight to the blind,
he raises up those who are bowed down.”

And in the third,
“He upholds the widows and the orphans”
and he is acting out whatever be our situation.

So we’ll see God is not controlled by MCO or SOPs.  Whatever be the situation, he is reaching out to us, whether I am able to go to church or not, whether I am able to receive the Eucharist or not, he is reaching out to us.  And this is where we’ll see – “if God is reaching out in the littleness of myself, in the limited space and time, how am I reaching out to him? I’m not able to do all those things I did before but with that little that is permitted, how am I giving myself?” 

Yes, a disciple is one who acts it according to the situation he or she is.  Falling back to “Oh it was so nice, it was like that, it was like that in those days”, we are not going forward. And I would like to relate this handicap that we have to the two widows of today’s reading.

The first reading, the widow had a little bit of oil in a jug and a measure of flour, enough for one meal.  But at the request of Prophet Elijah (she did not know who he was), she was blessed to share the little that she had.  In the Gospel, a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.  That’s what she had.  And in both these texts, you’ll see we respect this action of this women.  Not those who give a lot but the total self-giving.  How do we see in this handicapped situation where I’m not able to do all the things I normally would do, especially in my spiritual life, when in my devotions how do I see this as my small coin?  Handicapped but I’m giving.  That is the total self-giving.

It is not the amount or the duration of time I spend and the great glorious singing and so forth.  No.  In this handicapped period, how am I living my faith?  As I said earlier, God is not controlled by MCO.  He’s reaching out. As I go back to the responsorial psalm, we’ll see where “It is He who gives bread to the hungryYes, we are the hungry people.  In this situation, as regard to our usual norm of worship, we are not able but He sees and comes to us. 

Then the other line it is said, “It is the Lord who loves the just”.  How am I, very often I’m equating my prayer life to my attendance for prayer and mass and so forth, how am I in my dealings with others?  And the text here says, “God loves the just”.  So my dear friends, let us not say I’m handicapped, I’m not able to do but let me act and live my situation.  And that is what is in our opening prayer.  It says “Almighty merciful God, graciously keep us from all adversity (the situation that we are in) so that unhindered, in mind and body, we may pursue the freedom of heart.”  Yes, that freedom of ours is not been taken away in relationship with God but God is there reaching out to the just and let me, like the two widows, give ourselves though it might not be as it can be but the total self-giving. And God will bless us because even in this situation, handicapped by our movements, we are still putting God in our lives.

Click below to listen to homily:-

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