SUNDAY, November 8 23 Pentecost

Mark 12:38-44. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.

Read the Bible cover to cover and you will come away with the unmistakable fact God always takes the side of the poor. That is a hard truth for many of us living comfortable lives in North America, even when economic times are difficult.

Jesus turns the attention of the disciples to the widow placing her offering into the Temple treasury. Most have put in their offering “out of their abundance,” Jesus says, “but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had.”

Do not misunderstand. Jesus does not say poverty is a better state of existence than affluence. That would be cruel. There is nothing noble about poverty. It diminishes both those who must endure it, too often innocent children, and also those who do nothing about it.

What Jesus is saying is that poverty of spirit is a requirement if we are to be open to being filled by the Holy Spirit. We are too often full of our own self-interest and not open enough to let God work through and in us. May God grant us mercy as we show mercy to the poor.

PRAY for the Diocese of Uyo (Niger Delta, Nigeria)

Ps 127 and Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 –OR– Ps 146 and 1 Kings 17:8-16; Hebrews 9:24-28

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