Have you ever given your very last bit of food away? How about your very last pennies? In today's readings, two different widows, separated by many hundreds of years, do just that. Given their example, how can we be less than generous?
How do you imagine heaven? The Old Testament prophet Isaiah speaks of a feast, a banquet, of delicious things spread out for all...and there's still more...the end of tears and death itself. Pretty amazing, isn't it!! This is our future.
Bible reading: Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 46 reminds us that, in all times, God is with us, a refuge and strength. These words spoke clearly to Martin Luther almost 500 years ago as he struggled with critiquing the church of his day. Even now, the words of the Psalmist speak to us too, reminding us, that in all times, God is with us, ready to embrace us and to be our strong rock.
Our culture bombards with the message that we will find life by consuming...just look at the thousands of commercials we see and hear during a year's time. Jesus counters this message by inviting us to find life by divesting for the sake of the other.
Gospel reading: Mark 10:17-31
When and where have you felt lonely? When Adam cannot find a partner, when he is alone in the newly created world, God says that "it is not good". So what does God do? God creates a life partner, a companion for Adam.
Who is this Jesus? How to you describe or define him? Peter thinks he is on the right track when he describes Jesus as the Messiah. But he quickly discovers that his definition of what the Messiah is to do and be doesn't match with what Jesus has in mind.
Gospel reading: Mark 8:27-38
Mark's gospel portrays Jesus as challenging traditional ways in which religious people determine what is pure or impure. For Jesus, faithfully following religious practices cannot become a substitute for godly words or deeds that spring from a faithful heart.
Gospel reading: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-2