“This poor widow has put in more than all.”
God does not have favourites”, Saint Paul tells us, but God always makes a special place for the poor, and those whom society would push into second place. In the traditions of Israel God invited the people to have special care for the “widows and orphans” – so the story we hear in today’s Gospel would have a particular resonance. The paradox of Christian faith is this: in giving, we receive. Christ gave everything, sacrificing his very life, and in return received a new and unending life. The widow in the first reading gave her last food for the prophet Elijah, and in return received an endless supply. This is a challenge to us in our turn: what are we invited or asked to give, and in what spirit will we do so, and what will be our reward?
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. The Lord upholds the widow and orphan but thwarts the path of the wicked. The Lord will reign for ever, Zion’s God, from age to age.
First Reading: 1 Kings 17:10-16
Second Reading: Hebrews 9:24-28
Gospel Reading: Mark 12:38-44