Celebrate Sunday Mass - 9.26.21

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9/26/2021 (11 months ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

September 26, 2021 -- 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO SUNDAY MASS ON THE 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler.  Our participation at Holy Mass is always enhanced when we take time to prayerfully reflect on the readings. 

This is one of the reasons we are encouraged to read the readings for Holy Mass before we come to assist at Holy Mass.

In our first reading on this 26th Sunday in Ordinary time we heard a passage from the 11th chapter of the Book of Numbers. These verses are at the end of the chapter and knowing what came before is very helpful. The people had been complaining and the Lord was angered. He sent down fire. The people cried to Moses to help them!

They complained about everything, including the miraculous Manna the Lord had sent to them as food. They wanted to go back to Egypt where they could have better food! They were blinded by their own self-centeredness and forgot how the Lord had saved them from slavery. 

Moses then cried out to the Lord and told the Lord "I am not able to carry all these people alone". It was then that the Lord spoke. He told Moses to gather 70 men and He would come down pour out His spirit on those seventy elders. This all occurred in the tent of meeting. 

Two men came had stayed in the camp. And, when the Holy Spirit fell on the seventy elders in the tent, it fell on them as well. They began to prophesy. Joshua told Moses about it, assuming Moses would forbid them. But, instead, Moses said these powerful words: "Would that all of the Lord's people were prophets."

Centuries later, on the first Christian Pentecost, that prayer request was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit fell upon the early disciples of Jesus, gathered with the Blessed Mother, in the Upper Room. Now, every Baptized member of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, shares in three-fold ministry of Jesus, including His prophetic ministry.

In our second reading, the Apostle James warns the rich who had placed money and the goods of this earth, before the Lord - and failed to recognize, hear, or respond to the cry of the poor. In another place in this same letter, St James teaches that the "love of money" is the root of all evil. Not money itself. It is only when money becomes a "god" that the wealthy incur such harsh words of judgment. Why? Because money and the goods of this world have become an idol and forced the Lord off the throne of their hearts.

In our Gospel, taken from the 9th chapter of St Mark, the disciples complain to Jesus about someone whom they had seen casting out demons and was not of their company and Jesus says, "Whoever is not against us is for us". This event hearkens back to the first reading, when the two men in the camp began to prophecy and Joshua wanted Moses to stop them because they were "outside the tent". 

All these readings remind us to keep our eyes and our hearts on Jesus Christ. When we give our hearts to anything else, for example, the goods of this earth, or elevating our own importance, we lose the way. We miss the mark. We sin. The rest of the passage we heard calls us to turn away from sin and turn to the Lord. Gospel invites us to a radical discipleship. To renounce sin and selfishness, repent and turn toward the Lord. When we do that. He fills us with His Spirit and uses us as His Instruments in the lives of others.

On this Lord's Day, let us hear His word and make the choice to put Him first.    

God bless you,

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School

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