XXVI Sunday in Ordinary Time – Homily
Saint Louis King of France – Memphis, TN
Fr. Carlos Donato
“If something brings you to sin cut it off”
Dear brethren, today’s readings are calling us to conversion. We need to recognized that the spirit of God is free to give his gifts to anyone that he is pleased to do so. We cannot control God’s will. On the other hand, Jesus in the Gospel is telling us that we must not be jealous for anyone’s gift and we must get ready of anything that brings us to sin.
Many people think that they have the remote control of the Holy Spirit. They just commend and the Holy Spirit must do what they want. Another people think that they have a direct line to the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. They have a constant “WhatsApp texts”. Both kind of people and thoughts are dangerous to anyone. The first reading today, from the Book of Numerous shows us how the Spirit of God works in his proper and mysterious ways. The seventh elderlies were chosen by God and it does not matter if they are assembling all together or not. They are God’s chosen ones therefore, God gives them the portion of His Spirit that was with Moises as he had promised to them. Even to the two left in the camp were touched by God’s Spirit and they receive the gift of prophecy. No one can control the action of the Spirit of God. The text says: “two men, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also, and they prophesied in the camp” (Nm 11). This shows us that place and time does not matter when God wants. The Holy Spirit blows like wind where and when He wishes. Nothing can stop this divine wind.
This reading also gives us a lection about our behavior in our parish. Many times we think that we are the church owners, this is my ministry, I put the first stone of this building. I am here since the beginning of the world. I am irreplaceable! If I am not here not will work. Do you really believe that is it the true? Off course that everybody is precious and have their own place in the Church of God, but we all are replaceable. Like the Romans use to say “si e morto il papa si ne facciamo un n’altro”. Which means if the pope is dead we make a new one. Even the pope is replaceable why are we not? If we think that we are not, it must be the fruit of our own pride and narcissism that causes division in the church.
Today’s Gospel, like the first reading, is calling us to do not be jealous about somebody else ministry. Mark tells us that John was worry because somebody was spelling daemons and that person was not one of the twelve. “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us” them Jesus replied: “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me”.
Continuing the gospel text Saint Mark wants to tell us that the most import thing is cut off all things that make us sin. The order of the day is cut it off! Jesus is not asking us to mutilate our body, rather, He is asking us a conversion of lifestyles. If your way to see thinks brings you to sin, change it. “Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. (Mk 9). Then start to look with purity to all things! If you walk is not straight, comeback to the right pat. “If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. (Mk9)” If your way of deal with things is not right, change it cut off the bad habits. “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire” (MK9).
Jesus wants us to be aware that Hell exists, there is a fire in there that never extinguishes. There is a place full of good afterworlds thoughts. If we do not change our behavior, our egoism, hedonism and narcissism we must will finish there. This is not God will for us he created the hell for the apostates angels and the devil, but he respects our own decisions and choices. Let us ask the Holy Spirit, the Lord who gives life, that he gives us wisdom to recognize our defects and faults. Humility to ask God’s forgiveness and finally courage to change our lives and to be better people.