Bible Study notes for Sunday 11th November, 2012
The 32nd Sunday in Ordinary time, Year B
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
This Sunday presents us with some short passages, but each full of detail and opportunities for reflection
Take time to listen to each carefully. As Christians, we are learning to live from our ‘heart’. This is not as we might perhaps think, a reference to live out of our emotional life, rather from the depth of our new Life in Christ, out of the Spirit that God has put within us at our Baptism. To live from the heart is to live in newness of life in response to God our Father. 
So we do everything from our heart and art of our growth in Christ is learning to listen not only with our ears but with our heart, as we also learn to see with our heart.
So listen to each of the readings, perhaps a couple of times – what is God saying to you in and through His words to us
- We have a short reading from Ruth – remind one another of the story of Ruth.
- Part of its interest is the way in which this foreign woman becomes part of the story of Israel, specifically the story of David. Thus she is included in the genealogy of Jesus – Matthew 1:5. What does it suggest to you that this story is included in the Scriptures?
- Read the Psalm. What do vs 1-2 say to you? How does this prayer alter our perspective on human activity? What do you make of vs 3-5? Is this short Psalm a Psalm of two halves or does it form a whole in some way?
- Reading the passage from Hebrews – we note that verses 24-26 express the gospel. we note that it is expressed in terms of worship and the sacrifice for sin. ‘Nowadays, the significance of Christ’s sacrifice for sin has become less significant in our understanding of Christian faith’ Discuss
- We are told that Christ ‘will appear a second time, not to deal with sin’ – Why not to deal to deal with sin? – ‘but to save those eagerly waiting for him.’ – Are we eagerly waiting for him? How do we eagerly wait for Christ?
- Before reading the gospel, read Isaiah 53 – compare and contrast with Jesus’ description of the Scribes
- ‘As Christians we should not expect or indeed desire to be treated with greater respect than Christ’ – Discuss
- What does ‘Devour widow’s houses’ mean?
- Read vs 35-37 – ‘Jesus is here apparently deliberately whipping up th animosity of his opposition’ – Discuss
- ‘Rich people put in large sums’ – ‘out of their abundance’ The poor widow put in ‘two small copper coins’ – ‘everything she had’.
- Discuss the practise of putting plaques up in churches remembering wealthy benefactors
- ‘Even the Church still fails to grasp the breathtaking message of Christ in this respect’ – Discuss
- It is possible that here Jesus is critiquing the Temple’s financial foundations ‘devouring widow’s houses’ – taking the last penny from the widow. When we think of how we support the church, many churches suggest a tithe of income to the church. The writer Ronald Sider noted back in the 1970’s that tithing was far far harder for the poor than for the rich who might readily give a tenth of their income and hardly notice. What issues does Jesus observation raise for you?
- Refer back to Hebrews 9:26. What light if any does humiliation and sacrifice of Christ throw upon all of this and the things we value?
- We bagan by reflecting that we are called to live form our hearts and to respond to the Lord from there. Take time once more to ‘listen’ to all we have considered – respond from your heart towards God who is rich in mercy.