Monday, November 02, 2015

Mark 12:38-44


Year B - Pentecost +24 or Energy to Witness 24
November 8, 2015


After engaging antagonistic Sadducees and Pharisees and technocratic Scribes we come to a fourth story where the antagonist is all-of-the-others rolled into one--institutional religion using fear tactics to cow any unauthorized variant back into line. As a result, every part of the religious structure points to Rome, the Temple, or Fundamentalist teaching, depending on one's focus, but never to real lives of widows, orphans, or aliens.
 
For example, having just heard of a scribe's hearing a second commandment to the Shema--love your Neighb*r is contrasted with an actual neighborhood widow and comes up lacking when the institution requires her last two pennies.
 
Yes, Jesus' observation makes a dandy Pledge Drive periscope. Even though an impetus for giving is present, making a moral out of unequal examples puts a burden on the poor by getting mixed up about amounts instead of just access. As a result, those putting in much are categorizable as wicked devourers of widow's resources. It is as if they said, "Try matching this amount of giving. What, you've given your all and don't have anything left? Too bad, we still have our surplus with which to call the shots!"
 
How do you read this sequence of stories?
 
- - - - - -
 
Ahh, the honored
respectfully greeted
given third-row-center seating
unaware of the back of the balcony
able to ask non-questions
and baffled by real responses
freebie perks reveal
a fragile partnership
 

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