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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Weekly Gospel Reflection

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

November 11, 2018 — Thirtieth-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 12:38-44
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

Rachel trudged up the temple steps.  Several times she had to stop and catch her breath.  Slowly she made her way toward the line of people waiting to make donations.  She joined it and slowly shuffled forward.

When she heard the clanging of heavy gold and silver coins being dropped into the treasury, she almost left her place.  “Heavenly Father,” she prayed, “I’m just a foolish old lady with almost nothing to give.  But I promised you that if my granddaughter gave birth to a healthy child, I would walk to the temple and make a donation to thank you.  I didn’t realize that all I had left were these two copper coins.”

Rachel smiled at the thought of her first great-grandson.  A healthy boy!  In spite of all the dangers the midwife had warned about.  In spite of her granddaughter’s having to stay in bed for the last three months of her pregnancy.  It was a miracle, she thought.  God was so good.

“Lady,” she heard a voice behind her, “Lady, the line is moving.”  And her smile vanished as she remembered where she was, and the pitifulness of her predicament.  An old woman, barely able to walk, hobbling across this magnificent temple to donate ... two copper coins.  A tear trickled down her cheek, but she plodded forward, hoping that no one would notice her meager offering.

Then she saw Jesus. Everyone was talking about him, his miracles, his preaching, his parables about God’s love.  But now he was silent.  Sitting not far from the treasury, he seemed to be looking over the crowds.  “O dear Heavenly Father,” Rachel prayed, “Please don’t let Jesus see me.”  Then suddenly it was time for her gift.  She fumbled for her coins.  As quickly as she could, she dropped them into the treasury. The copper made a pitiful plinking sound that seemed to echo to the world the depths of her poverty and the littleness of her life.

Her eyes filled with tears.  Shoulders sagging, she moved slowly through the crowd, wanting only to return home before she was swallowed up by her weariness and sorrow.

But someone was standing directly in her path.  She looked for a moment into the face of Jesus, then hung her head in shame.  “You saw me,” she sobbed.  “I’m so sorry.  It was all I had.  It was all I had.”

Then she felt Jesus take her hands in his.  He slowly raised them up until she was looking directly into his eyes.  For a moment Rachel was awed by the love and gentleness she saw in those eyes.  “Rachel, Rachel,” she heard Jesus say.  “Don’t you understand what you have done?  You have given more than all the others.  You have given my Heavenly Father everything you had.  Everything!  You kept nothing back.  And now ... now my Father will keep nothing back from you.” Then he was gone, lost in the temple throngs.

Rachel just stood there, smiling. She felt younger than she had in years. She knew she’d been given new life, and it would last forever.

Read last week's reflection.