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Even Our Money

She from the little she had has just put in everything she possessed
I Kings 17:10-16; Psalm 146:7-10; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44

Sermon Week Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 12:44

One of the all-time great movie directors was the late John Huston, whose films include “The Maltese Falcon,” “Moby Dick,” “Annie,” and the one he described as the hardest assignment of them all, “The Bible.” He said that he found the creation story and Noah’s Ark flood scene especially difficult. “I had a terrible time doing them,” he said. “I really don’t know how God managed it.”

Someone has said that it's not the passages in the Bible that are the hardest to understand that should bother us. It's the passages that are easy to understand that should.

Today's Gospel Lesson includes a passage that no one can fail to understand. But, in varying degrees, it bothers all of us. Jesus is watching as the members of the worshipping congregation deposit their temple offerings into the collection basket. Many wealthy people put in large sums. A poor widow puts in a tiny amount. Jesus then calls His disciples to Him and says, “I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they all have put in money they had over, but from the little she has put in everything she possessed“ (Mk. 12:43-44).

The Lesson is direct and unambiguous — easily understood. Jesus could assert that the poor widow put in more than the others because He knew that her gift, however small, was given from the heart. Her outward offering reflected the quality of her inner-response to the experience of God's Loving Presence. Her gift of everything she possessed symbolized the unconditional surrender of her entire being to God. To which we might say, we really don’t know how Jesus managed to deliver this life-changing message through such a simple act of selfless giving.

During the mid-1800s, Alexis DeTocqueville, the famous French historian, endeavored to capture and record some of the spirit of the American Dream. He traveled extensively in the United States, and his written impressions of the country have been widely quoted to this day by historians, political scientists, politicians, and others. Once, the Chairman of the Board of [...]

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