32B18. 1 Kings 17:10-16. What a heart-wrenching account! “Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.” Elijah was able to bring the life–sustaining power of God to her aid, saying, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” The Lord provided in her dire need. In Luke 1:53, Mary says, “The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.”
Mark 12:38-44. Jesus calling his disciples to himself, saying, “This poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” God judges us individually on how much we do with how much we have. Judgment is based not on a competition, one against the other but rather on our own individual effort. When we are giving to God, we only give what God has given us. He knows well what we are capable of. God is perfectly just, true to himself as a Father loving each of us, his children fairly. He also condemns the scribes because they are only working for their self-interest and esteem. “They will receive a very severe condemnation.” This Sundays’ Psalm 146 says, “The fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts.”
Hebrews 9:24-28. Christ, who died for our benefit on the cross, ascends to heaven to “appear before God on our behalf.” In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Infinitely superior to the priests of the Old Testament who had to offer sacrifices continuously, Christ offers himself only once on the cross to take away the sins of many. He will come “a second time, not to take away sins but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.” Christ suffered and died so that we may be his holy people, sinners made by the Lord into saints, prepared to enter heaven to adore him forever.