Church of the
Annunciation

7580 Clinton Street
Elma, New York 14059

716.683.5254

November 11, 2018

32nd Sunday Ordinary B

32nd Sunday Ordinary Time B

How does Jesus know that the woman who makes an offering is a poor widow and she is giving a few cents? The extensive temple complex includes a “court of the women.” Adjacent to this gathering place is a hall in which visitors to the temple can make offerings of money for upkeep of the sanctuary and its daily sacrifices. This hall is called the “treasury”. Here, offerings are made to the priests who serve at the temple. A priest announces publicly the amount and purpose of the gift. Jesus sees that the women is both poor and a widow by her attire. He hears that her offering is two pennies. It is a very meagre offering in comparison to contributions of others visiting the temple that day.

Jesus points out the poor widow to his disciples and she becomes part of his lesson on giving. In the estimation of Jesus, she is giving far more than wealthy donors who are dressed well and take pride in their contributions. They are giving from their surplus. She is giving from her means, her poverty, her whole living.

We are struck by the contrast in the Gospel according to St. Mark between this woman and some scribes who go around showing off in their robes, being recognized at the market, taking places of honor in the synagogue, saying long prayers and having little empathy for widows. (Jesus is concerned about a similar tendency in his own disciples.) But the generous poor widow is also a Christ figure! The widow’s gift already reflects for Jesus the wholeness of the sacrificial gift of his own life. It illustrates the great commandment that Jesus just quoted in the Gospel last weekend: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

She is an example for us. She reminds us too of those who sacrifice their lives in protection of our nation in war and in peacekeeping. Last weekend we set our clocks back one hour. Today we observe the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, one hundred year ago (1918) when the armistice was signed ending WWI. “Veterans Day celebrates sacrifice, and sacrifice is a foundational religious value. Service to one’s country is a sacrifice of personal ambition and it can entail the ultimate sacrifice of one’s life for our country. This sacrifice is built upon the belief that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. In this case, that something bigger is our country, but in a religious setting the something bigger is God.” – Rabbi Marc Gellman in God Squad 11/10/2018.         

More Homilies


November 04, 2018

31st Sunday Ordinary Time B

31st Sunday Ordinary Time B Can one command love? Parents know children are more expressive of their love for Mom and Dad and less so as teens. When a scribe asks Jesus about the greatest commandment Jesus cites love of God (Deuteronomy) and love of neighbor (Leviticus). For us, love is a matter of the heart, romantic and passionate. It can apply to an object when one s...

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October 28, 2018

30th Sunday Ordinary Time B

30th Sunday Ordinary Time B How do you react when you see and hear a beggar on the street asking for money? I become uncomfortable. I may stop. I may keep on walking by and then feel guilty for not having more compassion. Bartimaeus (the name means: Son of Honor) is a blind beggar on the side of the road from Jericho to Jerusalem. He cries out: “Jesus, son of David, h...

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October 21, 2018

29th Sunday Ordinary Time B

29th Sunday Ordinary Time B James & John ask a favor of Jesus. They want Jesus to save places of honor for them when Jesus comes into his glory – when the Kingdom comes. The other 10 apostles become indignant! They want those places too! Jesus tries to explain to them: “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among y...

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October 07, 2018

27th Sunday Ordinary Time B

In the Gospel according to St. Mark, Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee preaching. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news.” (Mk 1:14) But soon Jesus attends a Synagogue service in Capernaum and teaches. “The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the s... READ MORE

September 30, 2018

26th Sunday Ordinary B

26th Sunday Ordinary Time B John has too much time on his hands and he is a tattletale. He tells Jesus that someone is driving out demons and using Jesus’ name. “We tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus does not seem at all concerned. “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because belong to Christ, amen, I say will surely not lose his... READ MORE

September 23, 2018

25th Sunday Ordinary Time B

25th Sunday Ordinary Time B In our Gospel today Jesus, the teacher, uses a child as an illustration in a lesson for his disciples. The Gospels preserve a tradition in which Jesus presents a child as an example of our entry into Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew) and of following Jesus (Mark). We must understand that in the ancient world a child may be loved and at the same tim... READ MORE

September 16, 2018

24th Sunday Ordinary

24th Sunday Ordinary B How odd of Jesus to choose Simon Peter as one of the 12. We cannot fathom the mind of God. Simon is a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. After a great catch of fish Simon tells Jesus to leave him because Simon confesses: “I am a sinful man.” Jesus nicknames Simon “Peter” meaning “rock.” Today among the apostles, Peter is inspired to ... READ MORE

September 09, 2018

23rd Sunday Ordinary

There are words that are more than words. Examples: when we swear under oath to tell the truth or when we promise our love and fidelity in marriage or promise obedience at ordination. Our words can take on deeper meaning and become word-events. In our First Reading from Isaiah, the Jewish prophet, speaking for God, announces an oracle of salvation. God is coming to hea... READ MORE

Displaying Homilies -3 - 1 of 403

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