Reflection for the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Sunday November 11, 2018

Based on Readings from Kings 17:10-16, Psalm 146, Hebrews 9: 24-28, Mark 12:38-44
By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFM
Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans of Mercy
Reformed Catholic Church

The themes of the readings for this Sunday are of generosity, trust, keeping Faith, and Justice but most of all that God will provide
if we but put our faith and trust in Him.
For me, this message is one that I need to hear and take considerable time to reflect upon in light of recent events.
The first reading tells the story of the widow in the town of Zarephath to whom Elijah asked for some water and a bit of bread.  
The widow explained that she and her son only had a handful of flour and a tiny bit
of oil with which to bake bread and when that was gone they would starve. Elijah promised that if she made a cake of bread and
brought it to him she and her son would have enough flour and oil forever.  True to the promise of Elijah, the flour never went
empty nor the oil.  
This was the result of the widow trusting in Elijah.
The same is true for us today if we place our complete trust in God and let him guide and lead us.
For me this teaching is one that, though difficult often to do, I need to do especially after some recent disturbing information I
discovered about someone I put trust in, a person I thought was concerned for the best interest of God and His children only to find
that they were only being self serving, egotistical and interested in power and self glory, which happens to coincide with the
theme of the of the Alleluia verse,  Gospel reading, Psalm and the letter to the Hebrews. “Giving of our selves for the love of God
and not for our own self interests, glory, fame or wealth but for being a true servant of God to all those who are oppressed,
rejected and unwanted.”
The Alleluia verse suggested for this week is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” and the Gospel
begins with these words; “Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market
squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets; these are the men who swallow the
property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.”  The Gospel
goes on to tell of the poor widow who gave all she had, a few cents, as a donation to God while the rich and famous of the time
made a big issue of their large donations.  
Christ told his apostles; “I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for
they have all put in money they had left over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to
live on”
When I read of clergy who only are seeking power, wealth fame or glory or defraud people out of their money or who molest
children I recoil and want to run as far away from them as I can get.  Sadly, we all were made aware of just that kind of clerical
individual recently and it troubles me deeply but I am taking the lesson of this weeks readings to heart and placing my trust in
Almighty God and praying that God will lead us and inspire as trust in God and our Faith that humble servant of God, Francis, will
make the right decisions on how to proceed.  
I also am placing my trust in God that he will inspire those politicians who would deny others of their rights, which according to the
Declaration of Independence “are certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
I recently have been pondering and meditating on whether God is telling me to cut back or even retire but I pray that is not the
case as I have no idea what I would do to fill each day.
This ministry has been a blessing to me as it has kept me busy and filled my days with wondrous moments and such beautiful
testaments to God’s infinite love for His children.
We cannot allow a few bad apples to spoil the entire barrel.  There are more good and honest clergy and people in this world, I am
certain, than the few bad ones that always seem to get the publicity.
Let us be faithful followers of Jesus Christ try to become “Poor in Spirit” so we can achieve eternal life with God.
Let us be willing to give our last penny or ounce of flour in the service of God for the well being of our neighbor and those who are
less well off than we.  That is the message and the hope I have for myself and it is my prayer for all who read my simple reflections
or hear them.  May God, through the Holy Spirit, guide us and lead us so that we truly reflect God’s love, compassion and
forgiveness.   AMEN