32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018 (B)

  1. 11 November 2018 – Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Widow’s mite-insight into love

The young students were given an examination. Among the questions to be answered was the following “The 1916 Proclamation was written chiefly by…… (fill in the blank). One student pencilled in “Candlelight”

I think even schoolteacher Padraig Pearse would see the funny side of that one. But maybe not- as on this  day 100 years ago the guns fell silent on the Western Front- ending World War I- the war to end all wars as we were told.  For our tomorrows they gave their today. But do we truly remember, honour and give thanks for their sacrifice?

As a child, I remember meeting one Polish angler. Every year he came to our village. I gathered he was a veteran of Monte Cassino- scene of desperate fighting. He never talked about it. The silence spoke more than words about grief ,dignity, courage, sadness, injury, victory, damage and death.

King George V called in 1919 for “reverent remembrance of our glorious dead.” There’s precious little glory in losing life in war, but we honour those who gave all they had- even their very lives for peace.

Remembrance is a complex thing, there will always be stories never told, witness and courage and hope and fear and love and loss that you can’t describe in words, not even a film or a book.

Our lives depend on the generosity of others. Some who like the woman of the Gospel fed us when we were too young to feed ourselves, who gave to their very last drop of blood and breath and thought nothing of it. Yes -there are some who seek headlines and glory- who seek to make an impression- which is exactly the impression they make. People will always be in the worst of circumstances, but we could remember that every Church has a crucifix to remind us that Jesus gave all he had- even his very life. The unnamed widow did the same, giving not from her surplus funds (she had none) but of what she had. Strangely the poor are more free with what they have. So every time we gather at this altar we’re reminded

that Jesus took nothing with him to the Cross– except his love for each of us.

And we’re reminded that the food for our journey

is as simple as it could possibly be:

a morsel of Bread become Christ’s Body

and a sip from a Cup, a share in his Blood:

simple food, offered in simple ways

to nourish us in depending only

on what we truly need.