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Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Resp.: Psalm 54: 3-4, 5, 6-8(6b)
2nd Reading: James 3:16-4:3
Gospel: Mark 9:30-37

The reading from St James tells us a lot about what has been happening during the life of the world. So many times we ask for what we think we need but actually don't need those things. He says "You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions." So we should always pray for God's Will to be done in our lives and in the lives of others. It is that simple.

It is these passions left unchecked, then and now, which led Jesus to the Cross. St. Alphonsus Liguori says in the Stations of the Cross attributed to him that our passions make us despise Christ. To despise means to regard as worthless or distasteful. This is what our passions do to us which is what we have inherited from Adam and Eve. It is called concupiscence. Without the Sacraments and prayer and all things Catholic, we will succumb to what is evil and base.

It is the passions that caused the disciples to argue about who is the greatest among them. Jesus showed them a child. Not that he wants us to be childish but childlike. We must serve everyone and this is not easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. 

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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