Readings & Reflection Questions

It’s all about connecting… Life and Faith


Readings for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 23
(Cycle B)
Readings for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 30
(Cycle B)
First Reading:  Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Second Reading:  James 3:16—4:3
Gospel:  Mark 9:30-37 
 First Reading:  Numbers 11:25-29
Second Reading:  James 5:1-6
Gospel:  Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
 After the second prediction of suffering, the disciples fail or refuse to ask about its meaning.  Instead, they do the exact opposite of Jesus’ teaching: they struggle with each other for position and power.  Jesus answers with a symbolic action that is stronger than words.  He embraces a child, a symbol of powerlessness.  He directs them not to build up a power structure but to embrace powerlessness.  In the same way, the power of the Christian community will be in powerlessness.   There is always a temptation in church communities to control and possess all the ways God works and not give credit to anyone who is not of our kind.  In today’s Gospel the apostles forbid a man from casting out demons because he is not in their group of followers of Jesus.  The same narrowness shows up in the first reading.  Joshua complains that two Israelites are speaking for God with the power of God’s spirit.  They were not part of the seventy helpers at the special ceremony.  Moses answers much like Jesus.  The disciples are told they belong to Christ.  The phrase is literally, “in the name of Christ.”  This name is powerful enough, not only to cast out demons, but to gather people into the person of Christ.  Anything done for those who belong to Christ will be appreciated by God.  Anything done to hurt or stand in the way of one who belongs to Christ deserves punishment.  Any sacrifice is worth the effort to belong to Christ. 

Connection To Life:

Connection To Life:

Describe an experience when you gained insight from an experience of being defenseless and powerless.

Who are the people without power or status in our society that Jesus is calling us to serve?  Do we do so willingly?  Jesus teaches that God’s judgment of us will be based on this criterion alone.

What will you do to serve others this week?

Relate an experience when God’s power of love came to you through an unlikely person.

What do you need to cut out to be more fully alive?

Look at your calendar for the week ahead. Have you planned time for daily prayer?


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