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Sunday 8th November,2015 Insert Pentecost 24B “She put in everything”

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert – Sunday 8th November 2015, Pentecost 24

She put in everything Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17, Hebrews 9:23-28, Mark 12:38-44

Jesus’ criticism of the Scribes comes from the fact that they have become arrogant because of their important position. They look for compliments, dress lavishly, sit in places of honour and seek the favour of everyone.

Underneath this pomp, however, lies the power which they exercise in swallowing up the poor and underprivileged. The widows are foremost in this group. In a world where the male dominated, a woman without a man became a rejected and suffering part of society. Supposed holy men paraded as holy, praying long prayers in public, but caused suffering and impoverishment among those who had no power to stand up for themselves. Such an approach to God is a lie. It is a pretence for religion that ‘will receive the greater condemnation.’

There is another way to respond to God. The widow, one of the poor exploited by those who pretend to be religious, leads the way. Unlike the wealthy, who only make pretence of love and service of God, giving large sums from their great possessions, the widow, with her pittance of two small coins, gives everything she has. In this way, she is a model for all disciples.

The widow’s story is not just about’ two small coins.’ It is a challenge to all of us who regard ourselves as religious people and disciples. Too many Christians parade their religiosity, but show no signs of self-giving love to those who need it most, and too many so-called disciples are afraid to give everything they have. The Gospel readings of the Scribe and the widow are not merely stories from the past; they are an urgent proclamation for those of us who wish to take our Christian discipleship seriously.                                                                            (Adapted from This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year B, by Francis J. Moloney, p 198-9).

Mark 12:38-44 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” 41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

 

Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17 Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.”

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17 The women of the neighbourhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

 

Hebrew 9:23-28  Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.