26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2018

26B18.   Numbers 11:25-29.  “Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, the Lord bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied,” i.e., speaking in enraptured enthusiasm, but not foretelling the future.  When others who had not gone out to the special gathering were given the gift of prophesy, Joshua objected.  Moses responded, “Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets!  Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!”  Moses rejoices in the generosity of the Lord.

Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48.  That same generosity is given to someone who drives out demons in Jesus’ name but is not in the group that follows Jesus.  Jesus does not want anyone to prevent him, responding, “For whoever is not against us is for us.”  Jesus feels that anyone who does good in his name and out of belief in him will be rewarded as will any of his followers.  Then Jesus goes on to say that if anything precious to you or a part of you, such as a hand, foot or eye, causes you to sin, i.e. causes you to do evil, cut it out of your life because it will lead to your eternal destruction. As human beings we receive the capacity to do many things with the free will in how to use those God-given abilities. Choose to do all in Jesus as the root of all we do.  That will always lead us to do what is truly good.

James 5:1-6.  James makes it clear that it is worthless to treasure earthly things that will rot and corrode as will our very flesh someday but fail to do good for the needy that the Lord will remember forever.  Choose to value what will serve us eternally.

Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14.  The last verses say, “Cleanse me from my unknown faults!  From wanton sin especially, restrain your servant: let it not rule over me.  Then shall I be blameless and innocent of serious sin.”  As humans being it is easy for us to deceive ourselves, to not see ourselves as we truly are in the eyes of God.  True humility requires that we leave lots of room in our lives for God to lead us.  The childlike attitude of last Sunday’s Gospel demands that we always have an attitude that is willing to learn.