26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (Numbers 11: 25-29 James 5: 1-6 Mark 9: 38-43.45.47-48)
Theme: God is Ever Faithful
From today’s liturgy, we see that whatever God has decreed must come to pass in our lives. In our first reading of today, seventy men were chosen for the blessings of God. However, two out of the seventy men were not present when God poured out this blessing, but that did not stop them from receiving the blessings of God. The blessings came upon them in the same measure it came upon others. This is simply saying to us that the blessings of God go beyond boundaries. The blessings of God cannot be limited. When you are marked for the blessings of God, it meets you wherever you are. No force or power can stop it.
Today from that first reading, we see the answer of Moses to Joshua. Sometimes in our lives we behave like Joshua as a result of jealousy, as a result of envy, we tend to think that whatever is positive, whatever is good in a given situation should come from us. And if it is not coming from us, most times we are not ready to put in all we ought to do to ensure that it sees the light of day. And today Moses had to ask Joshua “are you jealous?” otherwise why would you be worried that these two men equally experience blessings and power of God? When that happens in our day to day activities, in our lives, in our human relationship, how do you celebrate others when they experience God’s blessings? Are you envious of them or you praise and thank God for them, for the success and blessings that they enjoy? The attitude of Moses in today’s first reading, admonishes us. We have to learn to come to terms with the fact that God decides to use whoever he wants. And we see that also in the Gospel reading of today.
John tells Jesus, there is somebody casting out demons in your name, somebody prophesying in your name. And Jesus says “he who is not against us is for us” and for John they were trying to stop him simply because he was not from their fold. He says he is not among us and we tried to stop him. And Jesus uses the opportunity to enlighten John. The fact that he is not among us does not mean that he cannot be used. In the same way, the Lord is saying to us, God decides to use whoever he wishes. It is possible his choice may not be yours but then it doesn’t stop him from using whoever he chooses.
In the second reading today James admonishes the wealthy, and when we talk about the wealthy there is the temptation to say I am not a wealthy person. We fail to realize that we are all wealthy people in one way or the other. For instance, the good health you enjoy is wealth from God. The gifts God has given us are also wealth because when properly used are sources of wealth. And today James I saying to us that the wealth God has given us must be used positively. They must not be used as instruments of oppression or intimidation. And that is why today we are all enjoined to ensure that the good we enjoy, wealth we enjoy, the gifts we enjoy, the health we enjoy are used positively for our own good and for the good of humanity to the greater glory of God. Therefore, let us ensure we eradicate any form of jealousy from our lives. This is because jealousy is destructive and it breeds hatred, bitterness, anguish and sorrow. We pray that God would grant us the grace to live lives free from jealousy and hatred. Peace be with you.