Celebrate Sunday Mass - 11.7.21

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11/7/2021 (3 weeks ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

32nd Sunday of the Year -- November 7, 2021

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO ONLINE SUNDAY MASS ON THE THIRTY SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME. The readings at today's Holy Mass introduce us to two widows who have much to teach us about living the Christian life. 

In our first reading from the first Book of Kings, we heard of the wonderful encounter between the great Hebrew prophet Elijah and the widow of Zarepath. She was gathering wood to cook a last meal. She and her son have very little left to eat, and were ready to die, when she encountered the Prophet of God.

 When Elijah asked her to bring him some water and a little bit of bread, she shared her heart and her need - with honesty. Elijah then asked her to go and prepare the last bit of food for she and her son, but first to make him a little cake. 

The prophet gives her a wonderful promise:

"Fear not; go and do as you have said, but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord the God of Israel, 'The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.'" 

Think about it. She was facing the possible starvation of both she and her son. But she was a woman of deep faith. She recognized the Prophet of God and believed his promise. 

"And she went and did as Elijah said; and she, and he, and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not spent, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke by Elijah."

This is what can happen when we exercise our living faith. God always provides for our needs. 

In the Gospel of St Mark, we heard of another widow who had only two small coins to her name. Yet, she put them both into the treasury. She gave it all to the work of the Lord. 

Jesus commends her action. It revealed her heart. It demonstrated her understanding of what I like to call the economy of heavenly scale. The widow understood the truth which sets all men and women free. Jesus Christ is the treasure in the field (Matt. 13:44). When we have Him, or more accurately when He has us, we lack nothing. 

As the Apostle Paul exclaimed, in Him "all the promises of God find their Yes (2 Cor. 1:20) When we believe that we begin to understand the truth. Possessions no longer possess us. Why? Because we know that God provides. We can begin to live in the economy of heavenly scale - beginning right now.

When we recognize our own poverty of spirit and voluntarily embrace it, we are freed to live lives which are totally dependent upon Jesus Christ. When come to really believe that when we have Him, we have everything. Even if we possess nothing of material value.

We discover the economy of heavenly scale. Those who live in such evangelical simplicity are the richest people on the earth. Jesus called them the "poor in spirit." He promised them blessedness. He proclaimed that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. (Matt 5:3)

The life of Jesus and his earthly family can teach us some important lessons about how we should relate to this world. Jesus was born in a manger. As an adult he had no place to lay his head. He was raised in a simple home by a woman whose heart recognized true wealth.

Remember the words that the angel spoke to Mary when she asked how it could be that she would bear the Messiah. "Nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37) Mary understood that when you have the Lord, you have it all. She lived in the economy of heavenly scale. 

There is an invitation to evangelical simplicity in Gods loving plan for each one of us. To those who voluntarily embrace it, it can become a school of sanctity. Its embrace can change all relationships, with persons as well as with the goods of the earth. 

Evangelical simplicity, when embraced voluntarily, helps to strip away anything that impedes real love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth -- not utterly rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol -- but receiving them as a gift and giving them back to the Lord, we find true and lasting freedom. 

We can learn to walk in the way of evangelical simplicity through the example of these two widows. l. We can decide to smash the idols of the contemporary age as they vie for our hearts and attempt to rob us of the freedom which is ours in Jesus Christ. (Gal. 5:1)

Have a wonderful Lords Day.

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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