Haggai 1:15b-2:9; Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98; (Job 19:23-27a; Psalm 17:1-9;) 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17; Luke 20:27-38
1 Kings 17:8-16 (Psalm 146); Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44 | Semi-continuous first reading: Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 (Psalm 127)
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78:1-7; (Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16 or Amos 5:18-24; Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20 or Psalm 70;) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13
The story of the widow’s mite offers a profound contrast between two types of temple worshipers. But we often misinterpret the reason for Christ’s comparison. He is not preaching a lesson in personal piety and sacrificial giving—although pastors like to use this story during stewardship campaigns. It is critical that we hear instead an indictment of the preference we show to the rich and successful.
Perhaps the most insidious byproduct of modern apocalyptic scenarios is that grief is shoved right off the table.
I would just as soon skip the first part of this Gospel reading. The Sadducees are trying to trick Jesus by getting him to respond to an impossible question about the resurrection. According to the law, if one of two brothers dies before his wife has children, then his brother marries her. But what if there are seven brothers, and each marries the woman in turn? To whom will she belong at the resurrection?
I’ve never been totally honest about baptismal vows. I bet Joshua would have been.