Saturday, September 30, 2006
26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Starting Monday, DailyHomily will be suspended for a month due to my
vacation. Please pray for my safe return home to the Philippines. God
bless you all.
--Fr. Rick, DailyHomily Moderator
OCTOBER 1, 2006
26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - B
The Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. 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. Now
two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the
gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the
list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest
on them also, and they prophesied in the camp. So, when a young man
quickly told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp,"
Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses' aide,
said, "Moses, my lord, stop them." But Moses answered him, "Are you
jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were
prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!"
Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your
wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your
gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony
against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored
up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages you withheld from
the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries
of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You
have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your
hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have
murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.
MARK 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
At that time, John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone driving
out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does
not follow us." Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one
who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak
ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives
you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I
say to you, will surely not lose his reward. "Whoever causes one of
these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for
him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown
into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is
better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go
into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you
to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes
you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of
God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where `their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"
If you were listening with both ears to the readings today, you might
have regretted being a Christian. To be a Christian is no joke. Are
you well off financially? Then it seems you better weep and lament
for the miseries that are coming upon you. And if you take our Lord
literally, following him is total insanity. Pluck your eyes out?
Cut off your hand or your foot? Would that not be "mutilation" which
Christian ethics condemn as immoral? To have a better appreciation
of today's readings, we must first go back to the context.
What did the passage from Mark mean when Jesus made such statements?
One thing we can be sure is that Jesus was not advocating mutilation.
The passage from Mark is graphically Semitic. The point is not so
much in the particular part of the human body. To focus on the
physical is to risk missing the message.
And what is that message? It is a radical way of saying: "In your
journeying to God, you have to be uncompromising against obstacles."
So, in today's reading from Mark, "Whatever causes you to sin," Jesus
told his disciples, "whatever replaces God in your life, get rid of
it! Whatever the cost - even life itself ... let it go!"
This is the spirit of 120 martyrs of China. Eighty-seven of them are
Chinese, while 33 others are foreign missionaries. The persecution
lasted for over a period of 250 years, in about 11 provinces of
China. Most of them were martyred during the Boxer Rebellion. These
martyrs included men, women, priests, and deacons, religious, young
and old. The oldest was 79 years old, while the youngest was a boy
of 7. These martyrs are examples of Christians who took the message
of Jesus to heart. They loved Jesus more than anything else in the
world, yes, even more than life itself.
Among these martyrs was a 14-year-old girl by the name of Anna Wong.
During the persecution, in the village of Ma-Chuang in Hepei
Province, the Christians were herded into one room and given a chance
to save their lives by crossing to another room to signify their
willingness to renounce their faith. The stepmother brought Anna to
the other room to save her. But twice Anna ran back to the room to
stand up for her Christian faith, until she was finally beheaded.
After her death, all her relatives were converted to Christianity.
Today she is one of the popular martyrs to whom many miracles have
So, this is the message of today's Gospel: "If you want to be alive
with God's life, now and forever, let no love so possess you so that
God and his Christ take second place in your life."
How does this relate to our Christian faith today? Our spirituality
must reflect the mind of Jesus, if not his image for it echoes the
first of the Ten Commandments: "You shall have no other gods before
me." It also echoes what Jesus called "the great commandment" in the
law "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with
all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength."
We must carry Christ to the world around us, to the world of our
daily life. And you carry Christ by being Christ. That is to be
fully human and, by God's grace, more than human, therefore a
challenge. Concretely, be a man or woman of flesh and blood, but of
spirit and imagination as well. Liking who we are, but loving others
as much as you love yourself.
Love God above all else and you won't have to calculate just how you
carry Christ to your corner of the world. It will be second nature,
as easy as breathing. All you will need is to be yourself, for that
self will be Christ.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Prayer Intention: Cathryn & Charlz
- In Memoriam (+): Ernesto Tan, Sr.
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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