32 Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 11, 2018
We are nearing the end of this liturgical year. The week after next is the Feast of Christ the King, and then we begin the cycle of salvation all over again with the Season of Advent.
One might consider the Sunday Readings of these final weeks as a “survival guide.” In truth, the entire Gospel is rightly considered a “survival guide.” That was the primary purpose of Jesus’s mission and ministry. The Father sent The Son into this sinful and dangerous world so that humanity might see and learn how we can survive our journey through darkness and arrive safely home to Eternal Light. Jesus, Himself, explained that He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Those who follow His ways and live in His truth will survive and enjoy eternal life and light.
Last Sunday, you may recall that in response to a very sincere question posed by a good and faithful person, Jesus declared “The Truth.” And “The Truth” is that the first and greatest of the commandments is: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
Through this week’s Readings, The Church offers us two dramatic examples of The Way to live The Law of Love. The Old Testament widow of Zarephath, and the widow that Jesus pointed out making her contribution to the Temple treasury are more than sources of inspiration. We remember them and learn from them, not because they obeyed the laws of hospitality, or tithing, but rather, because they are examples of unconditional love for, and trust in, God.
Each responded to what would seem, to most, as unreasonable demands with extravagant trust. Each is an example of the kind of self-sacrifice which can only be motivated by love. In this way, both women are like GPS…offering guidance and directions to keep us on course…so we can survive the dangerous journey through time. And when we look towards the direction they are pointing, we see Calvary far off in the distance. I wonder if the courage, trust, and love of these two women helped Jesus stay the course as He followed The Way to The Cross?
In any event, their stories are important chapters in the “survival guide.” They remind us that there are times in each of our lives when we will be faced with what appear to be unreasonable demands. When we experience these Calvary moments, if we are true to the Law of Love, and respond with total self-sacrifice, we will survive!