(1 Kgs 17:10 - 16; Ps 145:6 - 10; Heb 9:24 - 28; Mk 12:38 - 44)

Today is celebrated in all Commonwealth countries as Remembrance Sunday. It is the day when we remember all those who lost their lives during the First World War. Our celebration today coincides with the centenary of the end of World War One. As we remember them in this mass and praying for them, today’s readings invite us to learn to trust in God n o matter how desperate our situations in life might be. This is done by presenting to us two widows in the first reading and in the gospel.

In the first reading we have the story of the widow at Zeraphat. She had the last food item to prepare and eat with her child and then wait for death to take her over since there was nothing left. Widows in Jewish time were living in horrible conditions of neglect and marginalisation especially if they had no grown up son to defend them. She had just a little son and was about to prepare food so that they eat and wait for death. But the prophet Elijah demands two things from her to be saved: trust in God and hospitality. She was to serve him first and then herself and the child later. How would she have trusted th is stranger, Elijah if not of trust in God? She had every reason to rationalise her way out: by refusing to give him the food on grounds that it would not be enough for herself and her son. But she trusted that jar of meal shall not be spent and jug of oil shall not be emptied. In deed it came to be as she had trusted.

This is the same case with the poor widow in the gospel passage. She gave her all to God in the offertory as opposed to the rich who gave their surpluses. Any normal person will try to ration alise and argue out her stupidity. But anyone with the eyes of faith sees differently. We might say she gave all because it was small. But it takes trust in God and a generous heart to be able to do that.

We should learn to stop to rationalise and tr ust in God. He takes care of us. We can only do this if we start to realize that whatever we have is not ours but Gods'. In this way, rather than be like the Pharisees in the gospel who who swallow the property of widows and at the same time go ahead to m ake a show of lengthy prayers, we should rather start helping the poor and the marginalized around us.

Let us learn to give freely to alleviate the situation of those around us and those far from us who need outer help. Do not count what you have to be too much or too small to give. Do not be also like the rich young man who could not trust in the way God was calling him too because he trusted in his riches rather than in God

I will like to present to us St. Francis of Assisi as one of those who trusted entirely in the Lord in everything. He abandoned riches to become a beggar and today we are celebrating his life as a spiritual giant. We are told that in his days whatever remained in the evening from what they begged from the people that day was given to the poor. He knew that God will take care the next day.

We should learn not to follow the current situation where many dont care about the plight of the poor but go a long way to steal and cheat from them. We should rather strive to protec t the rights of the poor and the marginalized. Our capitalistic world blinds us from this. We should not be concern about our own selves like the Pharisees in the gospel but concern about the plight of the poor

May we learn to trust in the Lord and g ive without measure to God and the poor.

  - Fr. Rinda