Year B, The 32nd Sunday Ordinary

The Last Place is the Best Place

November 12, 2000


Ronald D. Curley

Text: The Holy Gospel According to Saint Mark 12:38-44

On November the 7th my countrymen (and myself among them) went to cast our votes in a general election for the candidates of our choice in a closely contested election, perhaps the closest election in the history of the United States.

Now, there are two men who stand at the door of the Presidency of the United State of America, and the people of this nation look on and do not know which one will be our next President, because of one State in the United States that must recount the votes again due to the closeness of the balloting.

Two men have hotly contested one another for such a great honor to become the President.

Yet, we ask ourselves today - though this is a great honor, is it the greatest honor of all in all of eternity before the God who created us?

The answer is obvious for the Christian. No.

Our relationship with our Lord God and Creator, our Savior - is infinitely more important that all of the honors that the world opf men can bestow, as important as these honors may be to us.

It is GOD ALONE who has all rights upon our lives and all rights upon our obedient anf faithful Love in response to the graces he has bestowed upon u through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

Today, we read about this perspective of God for us in all things.

38 And in his teaching he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places

39 and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,

40 who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."

There are many who seek the mandates of the people, the accolades of men, in order to secure a place in history for themselves.

Many are like the scribes, the lawyers of Christ's day, who want to be noticed and appreciated in the world.

They seek, what I may term, the "wood, the hay, and the stubble of life, whose end it to be burned." (Cf. I Cor. 3)

How easily we seem to want to make ourselves known in the world, but refrain from the obedience of faith before God alone. I have felt this propensity within my own soul, seeing it as well in others, but turning back to my own soul to take into account what Jesus says here in this passage in the obedience of faith I am called to follow!

All things of the earth are earthly, beloved.

We minister at a place where the elderly and the sick are living out their last feeble days upon the earth. Their perspective is clarified. They take nothing with them, as they depart from this life -- nothing. We are all upon this same road, a road that is traveled by all. Beloved, be assured of this -- it is appointed unto men once to die. After that - there is the judgment seat of Jesus Christ!

How will we stand before God - as the hypocrites? Or, will we stand before God as genuine Christians who love God alone and serve God alone as sons and daughters of God through the grace of God in Christ Jesus?

What does Jesus show us here? There is the alternative to hypocrisy and the world's ways and means.

41 And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums.

42 And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny.

43 And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.

44 For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living."

Is our investment in the grand things of life?

Do we render to God our all, recognizing our poverty before God?

Or, are we convinced of the impossible?

Are we convinced of the false notion that we are something wonderful and great before God?

The Jesus prayer has much to teach us - O, Lord Jesus Christ - have mercy upon me, a sinner."

I find myself uttering this prayer more and more the older I get and see the wasted years of life behind me and my own life with yours as well on the collision course with its end whenever God calls us to the place of accounting.

May we even rely upon the Mercy of God and offer God the offering of Perfected Love in response to his redemptive Love through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

The Alleluia says -- "Happy the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs."

Mother Teresa said - "Faithfulness, not Success."

How faithful are we when we seek the successes of life over the faithfulness to Whom we have been called.

It is Jesus Who has shown us the Success of God.

The poor widow knew this.

The Woman (it seems) always does know this place of beatitude... Maria, pray for us and show us your Child, Jesus.

Deus et Sanctissima.

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