September 26 – Twenty Sixth Sunday in ordinary Time: acknowledge the good others do

September 23rd, 2015

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First Reading  Numbers 11:25-29
The Lord bestows his spirit on the seventy elders.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 19:8,10,12-13,14
The Law of the Lord brings joy.

Second Reading  James 5:1-6
James chastises the rich.

Gospel Reading
Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48

This Sunday’s Gospel presents one of those episodes in Christ’s life which, even if they are noted, so to speak en passant, contain a profound meaning (cf. Mk 9:38-41). The event involved someone who was not a follower of Jesus but who had expelled demons in his name. The Apostle John, a young man and ardently zealous as he was, wanted to prevent him but Jesus did not permit this; on on the contrary, he drew inspiration from this circumstance to teach his disciples that God could work good and even miraculous things even outside their circle, and that it is possible to cooperate with the cause of the Kingdom of God in different ways, even by simply offering a missionary a glass of water (v. 41).St Augustine wrote in this regard: “as, therefore, there is in the Catholic — meaning the Church — something which is not Catholic, so there may be something which is Catholic outside the Catholic Church” (cf. On Baptism, Against the Donatists, PL 43, VII, 39, 77). Therefore if a stranger to the community does good works in Christ’s name, so long as he does so with upright intentions and with respect, members of the Church must not feel jealous but must rejoice. Even within the Church, people can find it difficult, in the spirit of deep communion, to value and appreciate good things achieved by the different ecclesial entities. Instead, we must all and always be able to appreciate one another, praising God for the infinite “creativity” with which he acts in the Church and in the world.

September 20 - Twenty fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: becoming the first to serve

September 17th, 2015

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First Reading  Wisdom 2:12,17-20
The just one is put to the test.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 54:3-4,5,6 & 8
A prayer for God's protection.

Second Reading  James 3:16—4:3
James teaches about the wisdom from above.

Gospel Reading
Mark 9:30-37

There is something about being human that drives us to succeed, to want to achieve things. For some people they target greatness, look at our Olympic and Paralympic athletes, for others maybe the ambition is smaller, getting the kids to eat breakfast and get to school on time is challenge enough. Ambition, drive, success and winning are the themes of today. And our teaching from Christ today seems contradictory, "If anyone wants to be first, they must ke themselves last of all." The message doesn't fit with the way we see the world ork. Our society tells us that being right, being first, being the best is all important. But society is wrong. There is nothing good or important about being first, however there is only one thing bad about being right, or first or best, and that one thing is doing something just to be right or just to be the best or just to be the first. Following our lord is not easy. He never promised it would be. Selflessness is not in our nature, pride and greed are. If you are to be a follower of Christ you needs put your human nature last to enable you to put your spiritual nature first. Work hard, but always for others, strive to do your best, but resist the urge just to be the best, if you are the best thank God that you are able to serve so well.

September 13 - Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Where Sorrow is there is holy ground

September 9th, 2015

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First Reading  Isaiah 50:5-9a
The suffering servant of Yahweh is assured of God's help.


Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 116:1-2,3-4,5-6,8-9
A prayer of praise to God for his salvation

Second Reading  James 2:14-18
James teaches that faith must be demonstrated in one's works.

Gospel Reading
Mark 8:27-35

The Christian under sanding of Christ has to include the idea of suffering, death and resurrection. To attempt to hold Jesus back from his divinely ordained path is to play Satan's game to frustrate God's gift of life to the world through the costly "service" he must render. In the same way we are called to 'get behind him' in the sense of following him along "his way" rather than standing "in his way". We know that suffering and sorrow are a part of life. There's no way we can escape them. The important thing isn't the sorrow that befall us but how we respond to them. The important thing is what we do about them. We can turn them into something constructive, not destructive. We can turn them into something that is life-giving and not death-dealing. we can turn them into something that makes us better, not bitter. Let the Lord have His way and let us follow that path in trust.

September 6 - Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: The gift of receiving and the gift of transmitting

September 2nd, 2015

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First Reading  Isaiah 35:4-7a
Isaiah prophesies about God's vindication.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 146:7,8-9,9-10
A song of praise to God

Second Reading  James 2:1-5
James teaches that there is to be no partiality within the Christian community.

Gospel Reading
Mark 7:31-37

The healing which is recorded in the Gospel, which follows the pattern of healings in Mark, is intended to be read as one more indication of the arrival and nature of the messianic times. Each healing and each miracle is like a pointer to one more aspect of Jesus as ‘the Christ’. At the end of the healing, the crowd’s reaction and amazement is a direct allusion to the reaction described in Isa 35:5-6; and for Mark, the healing taken with the reaction is an indication that the glorious future, which was long awaited, is already a reality in Jesus. St John gives us the key to interpret Jesus’ miracles. Whereas the other evangelists refer to the miracles as “wonders” or “powers”, John calls them “signs”; for him the miracles point beyond themselves to the “kingdom of God”.  The gift of new hearing allows us to hear the word of God in our gatherings, in the situations and ups and downs of life, and in our consciences. We can come to know that God loves us, cares for us, and calls us to be his ministers and his witnesses. The gift of new speech allows us to praise him in prayer, to proclaim the truth to sisters and brothers, and to announce the good news of Jesus. God’s gift to us is the gift of receiving and the gift of transmitting. We are enabled to hear the word of God, and we are empowered to communicate the word of God. In opening our ears and lips, Jesus gathers us up into his own divine life.

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