1. Accept the good works of others who do not belong to your group
2. Avoid giving scandal
FIRST READING Nm 11:25-29
THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
v The Book of Numbers is the 4th book of the Pentateuch, it comes after the Leviticus.
v In the books of Exodus and Leviticus we have left the people in the
where it has
received the Law, Aaron has been anointed priest, the sanctuary has been built
and the worship has been inaugurated. Sinai
v Now the people is ready to continue its journey towards the land promised to the Fathers.
v This book is called Ἀριθμοί, Arithmoi = Numbers in the Greek translation, and במדבר, Bəmidbar in the Hebrew Bible which means “in the desert¨
v The text is complex, it shows the intervention of several authors from different times. Its composition took several centuries.
v The title ¨numbers¨ is appropriate for this book since we find in it many census reports.
v This book has still a message for us today.
v The leading thread is the land promised to the patriarchs, this is the reason why the people cannot stay at the foot of Sinai, it has to continue its itinerary toward the land. The people receives the rules on how to distribute the land and how to establish the borders of the land.
v In the same way as the people of Israel had to continue their journey, we cannot stop in the journey that the Lord has fixed for each one of us when He has called us, we need to continue until we reach the goal He wants us to reach.
The text describes God taking the spirit he has given to Moses and distributing it among the seventy elders.
When the spirit rested upon them they prophesied.
Two of them remained in the camp, but they also received the same spirit, and began to prophesy.
A young man, Joshua, becomes indignant and comes to Moses reporting what the two men are doing, and asking him to stop them.
Moses with a generous heart says how much he would like that all could prophesy.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps. 18 THE PRECEPTS OF THE LORD REJOICE THE HEART
« It is the longest psalm. It has 22 stanzas as many as the characters of the Hebrew alphabet.
« The author praises God for giving such splendid laws and instructions for the people to live by.
« He glorifies God for the Torah, the Law
« The whole psalm is a song of loving praise to the Law of God, and to the God of the Law.
GOSPEL Mk 9:38-43.45.47-48
Ø This Gospel is the continuation of the reading from last Sunday.
Ø Jesus teaches two lessons on discipleship.
o The first lesson, not to be jealous of the good deeds of others:
§ John comes to Jesus, like Joshua came to Moses, telling him that there is someone expelling demons in Jesus’ name, but he does not belong to their group.
§ Jesus tells John that no one can do a good work in the name of Jesus and at the same time be against Him
§ Any good work comes from God, even if the person does not know God, or is far from God. When any one of us does a good deed it means that he or she has opened him or herself to God.
§ In the parable on the Las Judgment which we read in the Gospel of Matthew those who had helped others did not even know the Lord. “When Lord? Whenever you did it for one of my brothers….”
o The second lesson is about scandal , anything that may cause others to sin
§ The examples given by Jesus and his words are disturbing
§ Jesus sometimes speaks in such a way to help us to realize the seriousness of what he is teaching
§ Jesus is telling us to avoid what can scandalize our brother or our sister
§ To scandalize is worst than to lose a hand, a foot or an eye.
SECOND READING: Jas 5:1-6
Ø The strong words that James speaks to his community help us to understand the magnitude of the social evils which come from our selfishness.
Ø On reading his words we realize that the first communities did also the same or similar injustices as we do in the XXI century.
Ø Our social behavior has to be a consequence of the commandment of the Lord “love one another.”
Ø The riches are not evil in themselves, since they are a gift from creation, and creation comes from God, but what is evil is the way in which they are used.
Ø James reminds to those who have workers and have become rich abusing them, that the salary they have not paid on time and have kept overnight is a voice that cries aloud to God.
Ø In the book of Exodus we read that the Lord says to Moses “I have heard the cry of the people, I have seen their sufferings,” Our God hears the cry of the poor and of the oppressed, and He will come to deliver them from the hands of their oppressors.
Ø These are very strong words which make us tremble on seeing the suffering of God in the face of our evil and selfishness, because it leads us to our own destruction.
In this situation, being – as I said- anxious and full of fears for the excessive care of my body, His majesty was pleased to console me making me understand that it was his will for my life to be of some utility in these times for the glory of His Divine Majesty. This advice of the Lord that gave me some consolation, made me very confused because I was so far from thinking that my life could be useful that I was even considering myself unworthy of life itself. And this was not because of humility, like St. Catherine of Siena and others, but because of the multitude of my sins. And on the other hand, since what the Lord was telling me was a thing of less mortification, it made me suspect that it comes from the bad spirit. Thus, I immediately consulted my confessor, and he told me that his opinion was the same, and not to doubt that it was what our Lord had told me. Venerable Maria Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Aut. 87
Meekness is one sign of a vocation to be an apostolic missionary. When God sent Moses, he gave him the grace and virtue of meekness. Jesus Christ was meekness itself, and because of this virtue He is called the Lamb. The prophets foretold that He would be so mild that He would neither break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax; that he would be persecuted, calumniated, and covered with reproaches and yet remain as one without a tongue and say nothing. What patience and meekness! Yes, by his labors, his suffering, his silence and death on the Cross, He redeemed us and taught us how we must act to save the souls He has entrusted to us. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiografía 374.
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