“Praise the Lord, my soul.”
1 Kings 17:10-16
by Sister Judith Bloxham, OSB
In the First Book of Kings in the Old Testament, we hear again the moving story of Elijah and the poor widow. When he asked her for a cup of water and some bread, she told him of her dire condition of poverty, and yet, she was still willing to share her meager resources with him. This is a poignant reminder that we are all called to share with others even when it seems so difficult to do so. Elijah was a beautiful example of how God provided for the widow and her son.
In the Letter to the Hebrews, we are also reminded that Christ is the ultimate and perfect high priest, who offers himself for the redemption and eternal life for all of us. He leads us all by being, and living, as the perfect model for our own individual human lives. Do we eagerly await his coming into our lives now and in the future?
In the Gospel for today, Jesus finds himself in a situation where he is in the Temple and tells the crowds listening to him that they need to be aware that the scribes are not examples of leaders that they should imitate. The scribes are not interested in a ministry of service for others especially the needy and outcasts. Jesus uses the example of a poor widow who is generous despite her own situation of poverty. As Christ gazes at each of us, does He see a scribe or a poor person who is selfless and tries to build up another, maybe not monetarily, but rather, with compassion and selfless love.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“See how the Lord in his love shows us the way of life. Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom. If we wish to dwell in this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.” Prologue 20–22
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3