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All Issues > Volume 13, Issue 5

<< Sunday, September 28, 1997 >> 26th Sunday Ordinary Time
Numbers 11:25-29
Psalm 19

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James 5:1-6
Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

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"Are you jealous for my sake?" —Numbers 11:29

Jesus came that we may have life to the full (Jn 10:10). This abundant life is given to us not primarily as individuals but as members of Christ's body, the Church. As individual parts of His body, the Lord has intentionally made us very limited so that we need each other (1 Cor 12:21). Spiritually, we each have gaps which we cannot fill ourselves. Jesus fills these gaps through the gifts of the other members of His body.

The Lord has also decided to limit our material possessions. Those who follow Him are called to choose poverty in some way (Mt 5:3). We cannot even be sure of having a roof over our heads (Lk 9:58). Moreover, because we Christians are "signs of contradiction" (Lk 2:34), the world will hate us as it hates Christ (Jn 15:18). Thus, the world persecutes us and even deprives us further of financial benefits (see Rv 13:17).

In summary, some spiritual gifts and material possessions are not given to us. Moreover, the world will try to deprive us of financial benefits. Because Christians are in Christ's body and in the world, we are especially susceptible to the temptations of being jealous. We must resist this temptation by rejoicing in our poverty and in others' prosperity (see 1 Cor 12:26).

Prayer: Father, may I recognize, resist, and repent of envy in my life.
Promise: "Any man who gives you a drink of water because you belong to Christ will not, I assure you, go without his reward." —Mk 9:41
Praise: Alleluia! Jesus has risen from the dead! The tomb is empty! The stone is rolled away! Alleluia forever!
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 13, Issue 5
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