32 Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 11, 2018

HomilyGod always has the last word.

Today's reading from the First Book of Kings should provide us with an incentive to place our trust in God, who always has the last word with regard to the life and well-being of his sons and daughters. The attitude of the widow in the story attracted my attention. She was attentive and helpful, ready to offer a glass of water. In fact, it was the only thing she could offer to Elijah. But the envoy of God asked for bread. The situation bordered at the limits of life itself. The woman swore by YHWH that what she was preparing was the very last thing that she had. She and her son would eat and then die. Elijah then pronounced words of encouragement and prophesy that had the purpose of provoking confidence in the word of YHWH, words which assured her that everything would turn out to be OK.

Another example of the intervention of YHWH in the lives of his faithful can be found in the Wisdom literature. There we find the story of a person that moves us with the many misfortunes that occurred in his life. The story of this man is narrated in the Book of Job. The book begins by telling us that Job was an immensely rich man. He was blessed with a beautiful wife, seven sons, and three daughters. In addition to his family and property, Job was extremely fair and always willing to help the most needy. Job's calamities began when the children of God were required for an audience, and the Tempter was also present among them.

The calamities began with the theft of oxen and asses (Job 1: 14-15). Another servant hastened to tell him what had happened to the sheep and shepherds, who had died by thunder lightning. The herd of camels had been snatched by the Chaldeans, who killed the servants (Job 1: 17). The summit of this first list of calamities had its climax with the announcement of the death of all the sons and daughters of Job. However, even this would not be the end. The next misfortune of Job would be experienced by his own body. The Tempter injured his body with a wound from head to toe (Job 2: 8). It is very important to read carefully the last chapters of the Book of Job. After all the calamities, God restored prosperity to Job, his servant. God even gave him double what he had before.

Brothers and sisters, the experience of Job confirms for us that God always has the last word. You and I know that life is not easy. Sometimes calamities touch our life, our family, and our work. Pause for a moment to think about the loss of a loved one, an unexpected medical diagnosis, or the loss of employment. In these moments of difficulty, it would do us very well to place our trust completely in YHWH's word. This is what the widow of Sarepta did. This is also what Job did.

Friends, today we ask God for the strength to place our trust in his word, especially when things in our life do not go well. Amen.

Fr. Sergio Mena
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 In light of the recent scandals, I know many people are wondering whether they should remain in the Catholic Church. And I totally get that; the outrage is warranted.

But in this time of crisis, I beg you not to flee, but to fight--not violently, with the weapons of the world, but with the weapons of the Spirit. We need you.

~Bishop Robert Barron
Founder, Word on Fire Catholic Ministries


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