Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time 7 November 2021

Well, despite the ups and downs of 2021, liturgically, we are in the home straight; two more Sundays and then it is Advent.

Perhaps a time for pondering. What will we offer the Lord on Christ the King Sunday on 21-11-2021?

It’s been quite a year.

Today’s Gospel presents Jesus continuing to teach in the Temple. Perhaps standing, maybe sitting, certainly observing. Several times in Mark chapter 12, crowds surround him, hanging as it were, on every word, and often “with delight”. His words seemed to give hope, hope especially to the poor the downcast and those lost and last in that society.

So, was Jesus too tough on the rich and too harsh on the poor widow?

He certainly acknowledges both for making a contribution.

Our city this week is rather proud of two sons of the local soil who seem to have achieved good things. Lucas Herbert won his third major at the Bermuda Golf Championship early in the week and James Seymour made his maiden century for Victoria on Friday, in his third Shield game. We all bask in the glory of the local lads’ achievements…but do we remember the efforts of those who worked to make golf and cricket competitions possible at the local level? Those people are often the “poor widows” of our communities.

Years ago, on his visit to Tondo, the huge rubbish dump in Manila, Pope John Paul II reminded the rag pickers who lived and worked the dump, that they, too, could and should make a contribution to their society.

Some thought, that’s harsh, at that time. But was it, really?

So, as we work through the fourteen days to the Feast of Christ the King, can I suggest that we might consider giving a little or great time sitting like Jesus, with the Temple of God in our mind and ponder…contribution.

Contribution in its many facets. May we try to move towards the widow, in faith and trust. She, somehow or other, had arrived at an understanding of her obligation to the “Temple of the Lord” and what in the big picture the Temple should be and should do. If it failed to deliver, that was its problem (and another form of contribution was necessary). She had done her duty, she had paid her dues, she had made her contribution in fact and in kind. She had made a profound statement, worthy of Jesus’s praise.

For some, she may be considered as a victim of religious exploitation. For others, a model of generosity and sincerity.

We too face the same dilemma. So, we ponder!

Have a response to offer on Christ the King Sunday.

Mons Frank