TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Also Read: Mass Readings for 26 September 2021
First Reading: Numbers 11: 25-29
Magnanimous Moses, Thank you, God!
(29) But Moses said to Joshua, son of nun, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!
The above verse reflects Moses’ magnanimity in having no qualms, in sharing the gift of prophecy! To understand the passage better, we need to look back at the beginning of chapter 11!
The people of Israel had begun to complain against GOD! (Num 11:1-6) “The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said: “If only we had meat to eat!”(4) Have we begun to complain in the desert right now in our lives? Have we given in to strong cravings and begun to ignore the good, which we currently enjoy? Can we begin to count the blessings amidst this isolation season? We could name quite a few, I am sure! First, faith, family, friends, food, shelter, and so on! But we give in to the rabble among us and talk like them, criticizing and grumbling about what we have Not!!
In response to this, Moses takes his petition to God. (Num 11:11-15) Of course, he did, imagine he has to lead a grumbling people to the promised land! Can we in like manner, place our battles before God? God has a unique solution, but it involves gathering the elders (chief) among the complainers and pouring out his Spirit on them! (Num 11:16-20) God always has solutions to our problems, though they may not always match our preferences!
The two, Eldad and Medad who continued to prophesy in the camp, were registered but had not been to the tent! Yet the Spirit of God rested on them. God’s spirit does not need a specific location or time to enter into anyone! When Joshua heard this he may have realized, how the very same people would have been among the complainers a little while ago! But, Moses saw it as a part of God’s solution. Because of what was meant for evil, God turns it into good – always and every time!
We pray that God grant us a fragment of Moses’ generous spirit; so that we may rejoice in the good we see in others! Amen!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19: 8, 10, 12-13, 14
Disdain Rabble Talk!
(13) Keep back your servant also from the insolent, do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and innocent of great transgression.
May God enlightens us in choosing our words, thoughts and actions wisely. May we not be deceived into talking like the rabble (the enemy in the camp)! Amen!
Second Reading: James 5: 1-6
(5-6) You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure, you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered, the righteous one, who does not resist you.
In the past 18 months, there has been an upheaval in our lifestyles; giving rise to the introspection of ourselves. But pre-pandemic, we would not have even thought twice, about the small ‘little’ frauds or acts of dishonesty we may have directly or indirectly committed! We recklessly condemned and murdered by our slanderous gossip! In justifying these ‘little’ misdeeds, we fattened our hearts and consequently our minds too!
And now, are we complaining about the manna in the desert? Therefore, it is high time that we detox our hearts and minds. We could begin anew to live in true honesty by our every little word, thought, and deed.
Gospel: Mark 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48
The Spiritual Detox!
(40) Whoever is not against us is for us.
(42) If any one of you put a stumbling block before any one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.
Christ is exhorting us today to have a spirit of unity with all our brethren. It is similar to what Moses reflected in the first reading. If someone, however, ‘little’ or unqualified or unlike us, is trying to live a holy life; we must not block that person in any way! What greater sermon can we preach than the one that we do, by the lives that we live!
In verses, 43-48 Christ is describing the cutting of limbs and plucking out the eyes of a spiritually sick body! What are our spiritual limbs and eyes? Our thoughts, words, and actions -all that we think, listen, watch or allow, proceeds from our inner selves! Therefore, then, we must guard these with all our strength!
We are in dire need of a spiritual detox, today! In living from the Word to the world, we must then strive to filter out all ‘information’ being bombarded around us today. May we ‘see’, ‘listen’ and ‘speak’ with the mind of Christ in us. Because we the believers have the mind of Christ! (1Cor 2:16) The more we read and meditate on His Eternal Word, the more we will be able to see and apply this fact in our daily lives!