St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania


Readings and Reflections for the Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

 1 Kings 17:8-16

Hebrews 9:24-28

Mark 12:38-44

Dear Friends,

1 Kings 17 tells the story of the prophet Elijah, who is sent by the Lord to the home of a poor widow.  Though it is a time of famine and drought and she is at the end of her meager food supplies, she is assured that her food will not fail.

In Mark 12:38, Jesus celebrates the faith and generosity of a poor widow whose tiny offering of two coins represents all she has to give.  She really honors God by giving this away, in contrast to covetous and greedy scribes who “devour widows’ houses” by using the law to take property from widows who in that culture were vulnerable women with no male protectors.

The Letter to the Hebrews compares the priesthood of Christ with the temple priesthood.  In contrast to the endless repetition of temple sacrifice, Jesus’ offering is once and for all.  He not only bears the sins of many, but will come again to save those who eagerly await him.

Comment:  The prophet Elijah is sent to a poor widow, and through her God provides food in time of famine both for the prophet and the widow with her son.  Jesus rejoices in the wholehearted trust of another widow, who trusts God to the extent that she will give all she has to honor the Lord. Do I have the courageous trust of these widows?  I do not think I’ve been tested by life as have they, so honestly, I do not know the answer.  Their example, and that of others like them, calls me to trust the care of God not only myself or my loved ones, but also challenge me to be vividly aware of those who live on the margins. Their reality calls me to honor the call of God to live a more caring and generous life so that I might become a person who honors God’s desire to provide for all.

David S. Robinson, Rector
Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Maple Glen, PA 19002