32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, B Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.


Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday, November 11, 2018


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
1 Kings 17:10-16
Through Elijah, a widow and her son are blest with enough flour and oil to supply them for a year.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 146:7,8-9 9-10
A prayer of praise to God who raises up the lowly

Second Reading
Hebrews 9:24-28
Christ died once to take away sin; he will return again to bring salvation.

Gospel Reading
Mark 12:38-44 (shorter form, Mark 12:41-44)
Jesus notices a poor widow's offering and commends her great sacrifice.

Background on the Gospel Reading

The context for today's Gospel continues to be mounting tension between Jesus and the Jewish authorities. Mark reports some of Jesus' teaching in the Temple area in today's reading and in the preceding verses not included in our Lectionary sequence. In the first part of today's Gospel, we hear Jesus warn the crowds not to follow the example of the scribes in seeking honor and attention from others. It is important to recall that Mark indicates that Jesus taught these things while in the vicinity of the Temple in Jerusalem. Mark is setting the stage for Jesus' passion.

Jesus then observes how Jewish pilgrims are making their contributions to the temple treasury. The Temple in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish worship in the time of Jesus. It was expected that observant Jews would make pilgrimages to the Temple to offer prayer and sacrifices. Pilgrims were also expected to make a financial contribution to the temple treasury.

As we would expect to be the case, Jesus observes that those who were rich contributed large sums to the treasury. Those with less means made smaller contributions. A similar situation exists in most of our parishes as well. Jesus calls attention, however, to a poor widow who makes the smallest of contributions—two coins of little value. Jesus upholds the poor widow's offering for his disciples' consideration, commending her because her small offering was an act of profound generosity, giving from her livelihood rather than her surplus.

To give from our livelihood is not only an act of generosity, it is also an act of trust in God. We can only give from our need if we trust that God will provide for us. Jesus himself demonstrates the ultimate act of generosity and trust in God as he gives his life for us on the cross.


Gospel Reading
Mark 12:38-44 (shorter form, Mark 12:41-44)
Jesus notices a poor widow's offering and commends her great sacrifice.


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Young children often have an innate generosity. We can encourage this generosity by teaching them that we can trust God to care for us when we share with others.

Materials Needed

  • Apples (sliced so that there are twice as many apple slices as children in your group)

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Before class, slice apples so that you will have twice as many slices as the number of children in your group. Ask for a volunteer and then divide the remaining children into two groups. Give each child in one group a slice of apple. Distribute the remaining slices to the members of the other group. Make sure that the volunteer does not have any slices of apple. Then ask who would like to give the volunteer some food. Ask whether it would be more difficult to give if they had only one slice.

  2. Say: In today's Gospel, Jesus notices people putting money in the collection box at the Temple. Let's listen to what Jesus observes.

  3. Read today's Gospel, Mark 12:41-44.

  4. Ask: What does Jesus notice about the people putting money into the collection box? (The rich people put in large amounts of money; a poor widow put in two small coins.) What does Jesus say about the poor widow? (that she gave more than all the others because she shared all that she had)

  5. Say: Jesus asks us to share whatever we have and to trust that even if we give our last dime to help someone else, we will be all right, because Jesus will take care of us.

  6. Conclude in prayer together asking God to teach us to be generous like the poor widow in today's Gospel. Pray together the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.


Gospel Reading
Mark 12:38-44 (shorter form, Mark 12:41-44)
Jesus notices a poor widow's offering and commends her great sacrifice.


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

Generosity is a trait we wish to encourage and develop in our children. We teach generosity by encouraging trust in God, who will care for us when we share with others.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask: Which would be more difficult: giving away a shirt you have outgrown or giving away your favorite shirt while it still fits you? (Giving away something that no longer fits us, while difficult, is usually easier.) Which is a more generous gift: giving away something that no longer fits or giving away your favorite shirt even when you can still wear it? (giving away your favorite shirt)

  2. Say: One way we judge generosity is by the sacrifice required to make the gift. It is much more difficult to give away a piece of clothing we like very much and still fits. It requires us to make a sacrifice, to give up something we like in order to share with another person.

  3. Say: In today's Gospel, Jesus notices people putting money in the collection box at the Temple. Let's listen to what Jesus observes.

  4. Invite one or more volunteers to read today's Gospel, Mark 12:41-44.

  5. Ask: What does Jesus notice about the people putting money into the collection box? (The rich people put in large amounts of money; a poor widow put in two small coins.) What does Jesus say about the poor widow? (that she gave more than all the others because she shared all that she had)

  6. Say: Jesus acknowledges the generosity of the poor widow, even though she gave a lesser amount to the treasury. Her small coins required a greater sacrifice than the large amounts contributed by those who were rich. In order to be generous like the poor widow, we must have trust that God will take care of us, even if we share all that we have with others.

  7. Conclude in prayer together asking God to teach us to trust him so that we can be generous like the poor widow in today's Gospel. Pray together the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.


Gospel Reading
Mark 12:38-44 (shorter form, Mark 12:41-44)
Jesus notices a poor widow's offering and commends her great sacrifice.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Generosity is about more than giving great amounts of money or valuable possessions. Jesus teaches us that real generosity is measured by the sacrifice made to give the gift.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Say: I want each of you to think quietly for a few minutes about how you would complete this sentence: A gift I was given that I will always remember is . . .

  2. Ask: Was the gift you thought about the most expensive present you've received? If not, then what made this gift so memorable? (It was unique; it was just what I most wanted; the thoughtfulness of the person who gave the gift was particularly appreciated; the one who gave the gift was special; and so on.)

  3. Say: Sometimes we value gifts for more than their monetary cost. In today's Gospel, Jesus comments on the generosity of people he sees putting money in the collection box at the Temple. Let's listen to what Jesus observes.

  4. Invite one or more volunteers to read today's Gospel, Mark 12:41-44.

  5. Ask: What does Jesus notice about the people putting money into the collection box? (The rich people put in large amounts of money; a poor widow put in just two small coins.) What does Jesus say about the poor widow? (that she gave more than all the others because she shared all that she had)

  6. Say: Jesus made the poor widow's gift of a few coins a memorable example of generosity. Even though she gave a lesser amount to the treasury than others, her small donation required a greater sacrifice than the large donations contributed by those who were rich. God wants us to share generously with others, giving not just from our surplus but from our whole self.

  7. Conclude in prayer together asking God to help us be generous like the poor widow in today's Gospel. Pray together the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.


Gospel Reading
Mark 12:38-44 (shorter form, Mark 12:41-44)
Jesus notices a poor widow's offering and commends her great sacrifice.


Family Connection

Today's Gospel leads us to think about our family's financial contributions to our parish community, the diocese, other Church-sponsored organizations, and other charitable organizations. Good stewardship invites us to share our treasure as well as our time and talent. Sometimes, however, decisions about a family's charitable giving are made without our children's knowledge. Yet we teach more when we invite all family members to be aware of how we contribute to our Church and to other charitable organizations.

As you gather as a family, talk about your family's financial contributions to your parish and to other Church activities. If your family supports other charitable organizations, you might talk about these as well. Talk together about why it is important for us to share our resources with these organizations. Read today's Gospel, Mark 12:41-44. Talk about what Jesus observes about the generosity of the poor widow. Talk also about ways in which your family might also make a sacrificial gift to support your parish or other charitable organization. (Perhaps your family might choose not to go out to dinner but to contribute the money to your parish). Invite all family members to participate in the decision about what action you will take and which organization you will support with your contribution. Conclude in prayer together asking God to help your family be generous like the poor widow in today's Gospel. Pray together the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.