Scripture Reflections

November 7: Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Campus Ministry on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 8:00 AM PST

a desert scene with barren trees

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IJesus’ time widows were among the most vulnerable in society. Throughout scripture the care they receive is barometer of our communal relationship with God: if we care for the marginalized, then we are living justlyas God desires 

The widow of today’s Gospel is often celebrated for her generositycontributing her whole livelihood to the Temple treasury. But – wait. In the Gospel Jesus says “beware the scribes – they devour the houses of widows.” The scribes were leaders trusted to interpret the obligations of the community. Perhaps Jesus is saying the widow gave all she had because it was expected and demanded by the institution and community she was part of – she had no choice but to give all and be left with nothing.  

We often ask the most vulnerable to give all they have. To be a little more patient. “Now is not the right time for that legislation, initiative, or representation.” To be a little more understanding“Don’t be so sensitive, they didn’t mean it that wayit was just a joke!  To work a little harder. if you arent successful, you must be lazy. My ancestors, my family, and I worked hard, why can’t you?” To deny their feelings: your grief, your problems, they're bumming me out. Just focus on happy things.”  

When have you been forced to give all you couldmore than you thought possible? When have you demanded it of another, or stayed silent when our community, church, or country lay heavy burdens on the vulnerable?  

As Christians, how are we called to respond to the burdens othe vulnerable, in a world that constantly demands all they have to give?  

As followers of Jesus, a first step is imitating how he lived. Pay attention to the verbs in today’s Gospel: Jesus sits, sees, speaks, and calls people together. He takes time to observe reality, and be attentive to the world around him, especially to the most vulnerable. He speaks out against injustice and oppression, highlighting the stories and experiences of the vulnerable. He invites into community. How can we be more like Christ? Who do we need to sit with? Who or what do we need to see? What truth demand to be spoken? What communities should you join or form? 


~ JoAnn Melina Lopez, Campus Minister for Liturgy