Reflection on Scripture Thirty-second Sunday Gospel B

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Thirty-Second Sunday Gospel B

In the course of his teaching Jesus said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation." 
· The scribes were the lawyers of their day and time. They knew the Jewish law that was rooted in the scriptures. Because of this, at times they would act as theologians, interpreting the law.
· For the most part in Mark’s Gospel the scribes are linked with others who are opponents of Jesus, such as the Pharisees and Chief Priests. They will be part of the group that will eventually seek Jesus’ death.
· What is the point of Jesus’ saying about the scribes? Their hypocrisy!
· Lawyers, seen as pious, might more easily be approached by widows to look out for their interests. But in turn, Jesus says these scribes take advantage of their position.
· What does Jesus see in us that resembles what he is condemning? What is the area of pride and hypocrisy in our own lives? It may be small in our eyes, but in Jesus, it is not.
· If there is something out of order what will we do about it?

He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, "Amen, I say to you, 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." 
· In those days, the widow was left to her own initiatives either to be cared for by her children or to depend on charity to survive.
· What is the point Jesus is making in this contrast?
· Reflect on the attitude of the scribes above and the widow here.
· What is our attitude of giving back to God in response to what he has given to us? Even when we seem not to have enough for ourselves, like the widow, do we still put God first and depend on him?
· Have we ever been able to outdo the generosity of God to us by what we gave in return?
· What is God asking of you in response to this passage?


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