YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 32ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: TRUST GOD COMPLETELY
BY: Abbot Philip Lawrence
My sisters and brothers in Christ,
Jesus expects us to trust Him completely. Many of us are not quite so sure that we can trust Him, even though we want to trust Him. The widow in the first reading shows us how a person can trust completely, even to the point of giving up the little one has for another person. The Gospel of Mark today repeats that message with the story of the poor widow who gave all she had, trusting in the Lord. The challenge today: Will I trust? Will I give up what I have because I trust in the Lord?
The first reading is from the First Book of Kings and gives us stories about the Prophet Elijah. Elijah is a wonderful person in the Old Testament. Elijah trusts so completely that he always does what God asks of him, even when it puts his own life in danger. Elijah can complain to God because Elijah has such a close relationship with God and thus shares everything with God. This is part of the challenge for us today: trust and become close! When God does not give us what we think we need, we are free to tell God that we still need what we are asking for. We must have confidence will always give us what we truly need.
The second reading today is from the Letter to the Hebrews. The author continues to compare Jesus Christ to the High Priest of the Jewish faith. The author always wants us to know that there is more in the world of the sacred than just the High Priest. Jesus is a new expression of what it means to be a High Priest. You and I are invited to be priests also, sharing in the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ. We need to embrace our human condition and bring all that is truly human to the Lord. We are invited to share in Christ and with Christ.
The Gospel of Mark brings us back to the theme of giving all that we have to the Lord. Perhaps many of us are more practical and give to the Lord what we may have in excess of what we need. The Lord wants more! The Lord wants all that we have and all that we are. The Lord invites us and waits for us. Many of us are fearful that if we give all, we shall have nothing left. Think again of the widow in the first reading. She had practically nothing and was preparing to share the little she had with her son—and then die. The Prophet comes and asks her to give to him the small amount she had. This is the kind of experience that we may have. We seem to lack everything that we need in this life and especially we may lack the means to obtain what we believe we need. Then God asks us to give up even the little we have.
Can we do that? Are we able to trust so much in God that we will give up even what we believe is necessary? God is asking us? What will we reply?
Abbot Philip Lawrence, OSB Christ in the Desert Monastery, Abiquiu, New Mexico