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Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Numbers 11:25-29
Resp.: Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14 (9a)
2nd Reading: James 5:1-6
Gospel: Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 

This Sunday's readings remind us that we live for the next world, not for this one. What does it matter if we don't have things in our lives the way we would prefer? If we suffer these losses for the sake of God's Kingdom, that is, which also to help us go to Heaven, so much the better. We need God's grace to accept this.

This world is what not what God originally wanted us to have. But because Adam and Eve sinned, despite having greater strength to avoid sin then we have, we all have to suffer death. Jesus uses hyperbole to stress the fact that we should avoid sin to the point of losing our eyes or feet, etc. God knows that we are weak sinful creatures who despite our best efforts fail from time to time.

We are either with God or against Him. We glean this from what Moses said in the first reading regarding those prophesying who were outside the gathering and from what Jesus said in today's Gospel. No one can do a mighty work in Jesus's Name and at the same time speak ill of Him. We have to choose sides. May we choose God and consistently reaffirm that choice.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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