Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 7, 2021
At my inner-city parish we do our Sunday offering a bit differently perhaps than you might in your parish. Because our congregation is small--usually less than a hundred people--we don’t pass baskets. Instead, we have a beautiful silver urn placed near the sanctuary. As the gifts are being prepared for the Eucharist, people come forward to place their offerings in this vessel.
Since many of our parishioners are not wealthy—in fact, some are very poor—the scene at our Sunday liturgy is much like what Jesus witnesses in today’s Gospel. There, rich and poor place offerings in the temple treasury. It’s a poor widow who catches the Lord’s eye—her gift carries greater value than all the rest since she gave from her poverty, not her surplus. Like the Old Testament story today of a suffering widow who shares with the prophet Elijah, both stories emphasize prioritizing—a “Kingdom theme” we find in these Scriptures near the end of the Church year.
I don’t like to preach on money or beg for financial help in my ministry, but I have to do it sometimes. It’s important for each of us in the community to share generously in order for our local Church—as well as the global Church—to do the work of the Kingdom. As you make your offering today, I invite you to reflect on Jesus’ call to generosity.