for Sunday, September 30, 2012
Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all! - this quote from the first reading today is such a wonderful statement of Moses. It speak directly to the understanding that Jesus has in the New Testament. The Book of Numbers can sometimes seem irrelevant for today and then we find such a wonderful statement as this!
Even today we can find ourselves a bit nervous when someone unexpectedly speaks with a clear spirit of love and forgiveness and acceptance. We need to listen profoundly, to open our heart and our minds, to listen with God's own love. Such openness and listening in no way rejects the teachings of our Church nor does it endanger in any way the authority of our Church.
Rather. Listening with the Lord increases the credibility of the Church. In our own time we have had incredibly holy Popes in Rome who have made the Church believable once again by their love and openness. We need to do that in our local Churches so that we too participate in this testimony of God's love for all peoples.
The Letter of James today expresses the complete opposite experience: what happens when we are concerned only about ourselves, our power, our possessions and our authority. Our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be recognized in such lack of love for others.
Perhaps today we can view ourselves as we look to others. Do we look uneasy when people speak about God? Are we ourselves willing to speak about God and His actions in our lives? Are we able to be self-critical and see our own mistakes and failures? Are we able to rejoice when we see others doing the work of God with joy - even when those people may not be part of our Church?
God wants to pour out His Spirit on all of us. Are we open to being transformed by His Spirit? Are we will to become fools for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
This Sunday, we are invited to open our lives completely to the Lord. It does not matter what our past is: whether we have been pious or liked piety. It does not matter if we have tried to do good or have been less than good. Always the Lord continues to invite us. As long as we are alive, we can respond to His call. May His Spirit be poured upon us.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Numbers 11.25-29
Second Reading: James 5.1-6
Gospel: Mark 9.38-43, 45, 47-48
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: