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09/20/15 Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. James

Our liturgy of today invites us to understand the meaning of discipleship and the need of our fidelity to the Lord as his chosen persons.

In the First Reading we hear God takes some of the Spirit of Moses and bestows it on seventy chosen helpers. God was teaching Moses that he should be proclaiming the word of God with the spirit rather than go on complaining about his burden as the leader of the community. These seventy elders chosen to share the responsibility with Moses. Moses seems to have learnt the lesson. He is no longer focused on himself and so he will not interfere with others who serve God and continue his work by prophesying in the camp.

The Gospel presents an incident of the exorcist who was not a follower of Jesus. The Apostles did not approve of this man. They could feel that their privileged position is no more secure. Their concern was not that the person had done an exorcism in the name of Jesus but that he did not belong to their group.

Jesus makes use of this opportunity to explain an important principle of discipleship: “Whoever is not against us is for us.” There can be a silent disciple and also an active disciple, indicating that salvation is always universal and it belongs to everyone. God can and does use anyone to do his work.

When we examine the words of Jesus we realize that our actions are more important than a simple claim to follow Jesus. As the followers of Jesus we are to bring blessings and privileges to others. We are called to be prophets and members of the body of Christ. Today’s readings emphasize the necessity to do the works of the Lord. We too could become enemies of the Disciples of Christ. For example, if we are jealous of someone who has received graces or gifts that we do not have, if we desire the spiritual goods of others, instead of praising God for them. So we must implore the Lord to deliver us from this disordered attachments.

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