Sunday 30 September 2018

Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Numbers 11:25-29
Responsorial Psalm 19:7, 9, 11-12, 13 Response 8a
Second Reading James 5:1-6
Gospel Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

I am away on retreat this weekend, at Cedarcrest Retreats. This reflection was written earlier in the week, so that it would post while I was away. A few things really stood out to me on my first reading of these passages this week. First the end of the first reading, Moses speaking to Joshua says:

"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!"

I read this passage with a bit of shock and awe. Prophets were never looked upon favorable. By in large they lived a life of conflict. Called by God to speak truth, and if a prophet was speaking, things had gone way off track. More than one prophet did not want the task, or the specific task. Think Jonah and Nineveh. And the end of the passage, that God would put his spirit on them. This is what we believe happens at both Baptism and Confirmation. And during ordination for priests and deacons. What Moses wishes for at the end of this passage comes to pass at Pentecost, and through the ages has been handed down through the church. I know in my own life I fall short often, as a husband, as a father, as a man. But this passage reminds me of a truth and a hope. I can start again trusting in the Holy Spirit imparted to me to work and to strive. To quote Matthew Kelly's tag line, 'To become the best version of myself!'

As I write this I am home from work sick, my son is home from school sick. The response really speaks to life, If our focus is on God all the rest can be dealt with.

"The Precepts of the Lord are right, and give joy to the heart."

 And then we come to the Gospel. 

"Whoever is not against us is for us."

The gospel passage reminds me that my life is always a witness. At work, at home, at play. The big question is what am I witnessing to? This passage is a reminder that our lives need to be lived above reproach. For the passage is clear that the consequences are severe if our actions lead another astray. As such we need to constantly stay vigilant. We should be seeing spiritual direction, and good spiritual reading. We should use any tool we can to help us stay on the right path so that our live is a witness to bring others to God not cause them to turn away. 

My prayer this week is that my actions live up to my theology. And I pray for strength in the day to day life for you my readers.

(Oratory last time I was here Spring 2017))
(Renovated Oratory Fall 2018)

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