Fr. Donato’s Homily for Sunday, November 11, 2018

XXXII Sunday in Ordinary Time – Homily

Saint Louis Parish – Memphis

Rev. Fr. Carlos Donato, MDiv

 

 

The ja of flour shall not go empty nor the jug of oil run dry

 

Dear brothers and sisters, the liturgy today presents to us the prophet Elijah. Who is sent by God to save the life and dignity of a foreign widow and Jesus who calls the attention of the scribes and Pharisees reminding them that God can is not interested in the amount given but in how much it is for the giver.

During the time while the heavens were still closed and no rain was given to earth the prophet Elijah was sent by God to visit a widow. The widow was not from the people of Israel but from Zarephath a pagan territory. She was gathering sticks and get ready to die after eat the last dinner with her son. But because God listening the prayer of the widow and the orphan he had pity on that small family. Elijah was the presence of God to that pagan family. In Elijah God came and visit them. The prophet mission was show to them the real God of Israel, the Only God.  Elijah promises to them: “Do Not be afraid”.  And the poor widow did according what she was told by the prophet.

Because her truest in God’s word she was reward. Her jar of flour never went empty, no her jug of oil run dry. She had what she need to survive during the starving years of dryness. This Widow is presented to us as an example. If we believe and trust in God’s providence, we will never starve. God always will provide for us what we need and in the measure of our necessities.

On the Gospel today Jesus is teaching to the crowds. He is teaching with authority about the behavior of the Pharisees and scribes. Many of them only wanted to be recognized and treated as the best observant of the Law and its additions. Jesus makes a list of actions and behaviors that should be avoided. They are as fallow: accepting honors in public spaces; seats of honor in the synagogues and banquets. Jesus is trying to tell the people that the important is not the appearances but what you really are. Jesus is asking us today to look to our own behavior. What we do and why we do it? Jesus wants sincerity not appearance. We must be holy and not appear to be holly. We must convert and not appear that we are converted. We must love the Lord not appear to love him. Falsity and iniquity has not a place in the fallows of Jesus the Son of God. He wants people with a sincere heart like the poor widow that host Elijah not because of his appearance or maybe because she heard about that man of God.

This statement is so true that Jesus uses twice as example the widow. The Rich people that put great amount of donations in the treasury of the temple are given to God what they have as leftovers. Many people think that given great amount of money weekly to the church had already fulfill their obligation. There is my money and now do what I tell you to do. It is not the way that it is supposed to be. We can’t buy God or his church. When this thought unfortunately becomes reality we know that disgrace and contradiction will happens and destroy the parish, the diocese and the whole church.

Brethren, we must be alike the poor widow of the first reading. Do our obligation, seek for the necessary and trust in God. She gave to Elijah all that she had. The flour of wheat and the little string of oil. Not was leftovers that was her whole possession. The other widow who probably was a beggar at the entrance of the temple. At Jesus’ time if you were a widow without a son to take care of you, you must starve to death or you will pass the rest of your life begging on the streets.  Hat widow that entered in the Temple and gave some coins to the treasury of the House of God, gave more than the whole others. She gave to God what she had to live. She completed truest in God’s providence.

Dear Brethren, let us think about our lives and what are we doing with it. Let us think about our behavior and attitudes toward God. Are we giving to God what we have? Are our talents, gifts and skills put to the service of the kingdom? Are we giving to God what we do not want or need? Do we make God looks like a beggar?  Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.