Thirty-second Sunday
in Ordinary Time-2

(Veterans' Day)
A Homily - Cycle B - 2011-2012

by Fr. Luke Dundon

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First Reading - 1 Kings 17:10-16
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
Second Reading - Hebrews 9:24-28
Gospel - Mark 12:38-44

Mark wrote to explain Christ
to the new Gentile converts.

In the course of his teaching, Jesus said to the crowds, "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 severe condemnation."

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.

Veterans are those who have served in our military.  You know why we can sit here and worship our Lord in freedom?  It's because of our military men and women, who have fought to protect us.  We have some right here.  Ladies and Gentlemen, if you have served in the military or are serving now, please stand so we can offer your appreciation.

It's an incredible life, serving in the military.  You get to work in really big jobs - steer ships, dive submarines, fly planes. . . what incredible gifts you can offer your country!  But then there are also the small gifts you can offer - shining shoes, dusting bookshelves, polishing knobs. . .  how BORING!  Such SMALL gifts to offer!  Who would want to sign up for the military for THIS?!  Jesus sees the rich donating plenty of money for the temple. . . and yet all He notices is a poor woman, and what does she give?  Two small coins.  That's all she HAD.  That's not enough to buy a soda!  Who would notice THIS?!  Such a SMALL gift!  And her own little gift - made ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD TO JESUS.


Jesus knows that we have all been given lots of great gifts in our lives.  Our homes, our families, our talents and abilities.  Some have lots of toys, some can play great soccer games, some know how to play music.  And He wants us to offer those gifts back to Him!  Certainly, Jesus!  But our Lord also knows that we have lots of SMALL gifts in our lives - some have only one or two toys - some can play a pretty good soccer game. . . some know how to play one note on the piano. . . but THAT'S not very much, is it?  NOOOOOOOOO. . . that's such a small gift, that's not worth giving back to you, Lord!  But the woman in today's Gospel - she had such a small gift. . . and THAT made all the difference!  Jesus wasn't paying attention to the BIG gifts - he was paying attention to the SMALL ones!

You know, it's easy to offer up the big gifts . . . but the SMALL ones - sometimes we might not want to.  We don't feel that we're good enough, we don't feel that they're worth enough, so we hold onto them . . . we don't want to let them shine . . . we don't want to let others know - I've got a GREAT toy, thought it's my only one . . . I LOVE to play soccer - even if I miss the goals occasionally.  I LOVE to play the piano - especially THIS ONE NOTE.  I love to shine shoes!  NOOOO, this isn't worth offering to you, Jesus . . . and so we hold onto it, we're a little embarrassed, it's not as good as OTHERS' gifts, especially the BIG GIFTS . . .

But what does Jesus want us to do?  He wants us to offer Him EVERYTHING.  EVERYTHING - the BIG gifts . . . and the SMALL ones too.  Even the ones that don't seem to be very much.  Even the ones we don't think we're very good at.  Because, until we offer Jesus the SMALL gifts, we're not offering EVERYTHING TO JESUS.  Just when we think we have nothing left except a few small things, just when we think, I can only do this or that, then go ahead and OFFER HIM "this or that" - OFFER HIM your picture, even if you don't think it's worth very much.  OFFER HIM your soccer game, even if you miss the ball once in a while.  OFFER HIM your music, He'll love that one note more than any other not ever played.  I'll offer him my shoe-shine!  OFFER HIM your small gifts, because then you'll offer Jesus everything - and He'll give more back to you  - more than you could possible imagine!  Thank God for His gifts - especially the small ones!

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