A Note on Today’s Readings | Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – Year B
Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
As we approach the end of the church year, our readings from the Gospel of Mark deal with the final days of Jesus’ ministry. In that period, Jesus was in direct conflict with the religious leaders in Jerusalem. In today’s passage, Jesus contrasts the simple faith of a poor widow, expressed by her generous giving, with the show of religiosity put on by the scribes and the rich.
The first reading completes the story of Ruth. By taking advantage of the rule in Leviticus that a male relative of a childless widow must marry her and produce children, Ruth, with Naomi’s wily planning, is married to Boaz and their descendants included the royal family of Israel and were ancestors of Jesus.
The passage from Hebrews, which we are reading through at this time, deals with the eternal nature of Jesus’ priesthood. Unlike the symbolic sacrifices of the old priesthood, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection and ascension have made him uniquely able to take away the sin of the world for all time.
The people of God in every age have gathered in the Eucharist to respond to salvation in generous and loving ministry to each other and the world. Made part of Jesus’ own sacrifice in baptism, we are joined with his sacrifice in the Eucharist. Thus, our own sacrifices, like those of the two poor widows, are given the eternal significance of Jesus’ own dying and rising. What is lacking in us through our own imperfection is made perfect in Christ.