Sunday, November 7
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Roman Ordinary calendar
1st book of Kings 17,10-16.
In those days, Elijah the prophet went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her, “Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.”
She left to get it, and he called out after her, “Please bring along a bit of bread.”
“As the LORD, your God, lives,” she answered, “I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.”
“Do not be afraid,” Elijah said to her. “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.'”
She left and did as Elijah had said. She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well;
The jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
the LORD sets captives free.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
The fatherless and the widow the LORD sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
Letter to the Hebrews 9,24-28.
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.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment,
so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 12,38-44.
In the course of his teaching Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”
He 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.”
Thomas of Celano (c.1190-c.1260)
biographer of Saint Francis and Saint Clare
« Vita prima » of Saint Francis, §76
Giving up everything because Christ gave up everything for us
Francis, the poor little one and father of the poor, wanted to live like a poor man in every way. He suffered if he met someone poorer than himself, not out of vanity but because of the tender compassion he bore them. He only wanted a plain, very rough tunic, but still it very often happened that he shared it with some unfortunate creature. But he himself was a very rich poor man since, forced by his great charity to come to the help of the poor insofar as he could, he went about amongst the rich of this world during the times of greatest cold and asked them to lend him a cloak or fur trimmed coat. They would bring them to him all the more readily in that he hadn’t begun to ask for them. Then he would say: “I accept on condition that you don’t expect to see them again.” Then Francis, with a glad heart, offered what he had just received to the first poor man he encountered.
Nothing caused him greater pain than to see a poor person insulted or any kind of creature blasphemed. One day a brother let fly against a poor person who asked for an alms with wounding words. “Aren’t you by any chance rich while pretending to be one of the poor?” he said to him. These words upset Francis, father of the poor, very much. He inflicted a terrible reprimand on the culprit then commanded him to take off his outer garments in the poor man’s presence and to kiss his feet while asking his forgiveness. “Anyone who speaks unkindly to a poor man,” he used to say, “injures the Christ of whom the poor represent the noble symbol, for Christ made himself poor in this world for our sake” (cf. 2Cor 8,9).