Two small coins
November 11th, 2012 (see other dates)
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1What can we learn from the widow's example? This woman was very poor, yet she had something to give. She had not only generosity, but she had the gift of faith. We ought to be generous to the poor, but we also ought to realize that, no matter how poor someone is, that person has something to give. It is not always something like money or material things. What do you think we can receive or learn from someone who is poor?
People who have very little must take care of what they have. Ask your grandparents or other older adults what it was like when they were growing up. Did they have food and money to waste? What things did they play with? Did they take care of their things? How did they feel when they lost or broke something of their own or someone else's? How do you take care of what you have? Do you recycle or give away things that are still good or do you just throw them away when you are tired of them?
You might like to investigate your town or city's recycling program. For many American towns and cities, getting rid of garbage is a big problem. What is the situation in your town or city? How can you help?
Reading 1 1 Kings 17:10-16
Reading 1 ReflectionIn this reading we hear the beautiful story of the prophet Elijah and the widow and her son. During a great drought, Elijah met a widow and asked her for a small cupful of water and a bit of bread. She had only a handful of flour and a bit of oil that she was preparing for her son and herself. But she made a little cake for the prophet and was rewarded with flour and oil for a year, until the rains came again. The generosity of this widow touches us and fills us with admiration.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Why is this reading a source of hope for the followers of Jesus? This reading points us toward the end of time, when Jesus will come again. Sometimes people wonder when this will be, and try to predict it through various events like earthquakes. Jesus has told us that we cannot know ahead of time, and this reading does not tell us when Jesus will come. It does tell us why Jesus will come again. Why will he? Why is this so important?
Reading 2 Hebrews 9:24-28
Reading 2 ReflectionThis reading contrasts the actions of the Jewish High Priest with Jesus' priestly office. Each year the Jewish high priest entered the sanctuary of the Temple of Jerusalem with the sacrifice of animals' blood. In contrast, Jesus entered the sanctuary of heaven and offered the sacrifice of himself once to take away our sins. During today's liturgy, let us ask especially for the forgiveness of our sins, especially for not being generous in forgiving one another.
Discussion Questions for GospelNote: You may want to ask volunteers to act out the story of the Widow's Mite. This story has had an impact upon our Catholic life, even in its vocabulary. At one time, boxes used for Lenten offerings at home were called "mite boxes" to remind us of the small but generous gift of this widow who gave her last mite.
Why do we admire people who "give their all"? What does "giving my all" mean to me in my life? Do I give my all to my family? to my studies? to sports? What does it mean to "give my all" to God?
Gospel Mark 12: 41-44
Gospel ReflectionIn this reading we have the story of another widow who gave generously. Many rich people gave far more; she gave only two small copper coins not worth very much. But Jesus was moved by what she did and praised her to his disciples. She gave all that she had to live on.
God loves generosity. Nothing is more moving to the heart of Jesus than our willingness to give of ourselves to help others.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
We Share Our GiftsJesus tells us in the gospel that although the woman only gave a few coins, her contribution in God's eyes was of more value than those who gave many coins. The others gave of their surplus, while she sacrificed to be able to give what she did.
Give each child a picture of a coin. Have them draw something they value on this coin. Put these on the prayer table. Gather the children around the prayer table and say a prayer offering our gifts to God.
Edible CoinsGive each child two round crackers to represent the two coins given by the widow. Provide various toppings such as cheese spread, cream cheese, jam, or peanut butter. Let the children use craft sticks to spread these on the crackers. Encourage the children to eat and enjoy!
Proclaiming Faith Activities
An Anti-Greed CampaignPray together: Lord, help us to be generous with out time, our possessions, our abilities, our compassion.
Being greedy means that we want to have more things that we really need. It also means that we don't share enough with others. Plan an Anti- Greed Campaign as a service to your parish. Design a poster and slogan, or an announcement that can be seen on the Internet or on a video. Decide how you will organize your campaign to encourage one another to be generous and to share with others.
Giving From the HeartRead the story from today's gospel. Then, on a piece of paper, draw two large hearts. In one heart, draw a dollar sign. In the other, draw two small copper coins. In the heart with the dollar sign, write what you think one of the wealthier persons in the crowd might have been thinking or feeling as he or she dropped money into the collection box. In the heart with the two copper coins, write what you think the poor widow might have been thinking or feeling.
What lesson does Jesus teach us in this gospel story? Why do we contribute money to the Church each Sunday?
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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