Offering ourselves to God without holding back – becoming the sacrifice we make through love
Reflections on the readings for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (November 7, 2021): 1 KGS 17:10-16; PS 146:7,8-9,9-10; HEB 9:24-28; MK 12:38-44
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Sin and death no longer have power over us as long as we entrust ourselves to our King.
All of today’s readings call us to consider once again the meaning of discipleship and of the sacrifices that it entails. The Letter to the Hebrews compares the sacrifices made in the Jerusalem Temple with Jesus’ self-giving. At the Temple, priests had to make animal sacrifices year after year in order to petition God for forgiveness from sin. But the death of Jesus, the Son of God, happened once and for all for the redemption of the whole world. “Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after the judgment, so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him” (Hebrews 9:27-28). Christ suffered and was crucified for us. He rose again and ascended to heaven. And He will return once more at the end of his second coming. The sacrifice has been made. Sin and death no longer have power over us as long as we entrust ourselves to our King. His Kingdom is ours for the taking.
All we need to do is what He asks of us. By cooperating with God’s will and grace, we sacrifice our own self-centeredness, our own desires. For many people, this can seem like a lot for our Lord to ask of us. But because we have been given reason and free will, we must make our own choices. In the readings today from 1 Kings and again in the Gospel, we hear about poor women who did not hesitate to make a sacrifice they believed that God wanted – and that they gave out of loving devotion. Whatever we give up, whatever we do, if it is for the sake of God, He will look after us and reward us beyond our dreams, and for all eternity. Jesus was willing to die for us. What are we willing to do for Him?
Suggested missionary action: Today we can think about ways that we can make sacrifice to God out of our love for Him. And, in doing so, we can assist our brothers and sisters through prayer, material means, and charitable actions. Christ has already shown us how.