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Sunday, September 24, 2006

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25th Sunday Ordinary Time

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
James 3:16—4:3
Psalm 54
Mark 9:30-37

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pleasure seeking or treasure seeking

"You ask and you do not receive because you ask wrongly, with a view to squandering what you receive on your pleasures." —James 4:3

Human history provides ample testimony about the effects of pleasure seeking. One pleasure is never enough. People always want the next pleasure, followed by another. Companies thrive by stoking the pleasure-seeking desires of masses of consumers. Left to our own desires, we become slaves of pleasure-seeking, servants of the cravings of our own flesh (see Rm 6:12).

I challenge you to spend the next five minutes looking at a crucifix. As you gaze on Jesus' crucified body, ask yourself these questions: "What if Jesus chose to pursue earthly pleasure as often as I do? What if He chose not to suffer and die for me?"

Then ask Jesus to break the chains of your fleshly desires. "Already you have devoted enough time" on your pleasures (1 Pt 4:3). Now devote the rest of your time on earth to seeking God's pleasure. Through the cross, be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14). When you are crucified to your own desires, you are then empty enough to receive God's desires. Then you are ready to receive God's abundant life, joy, peace, love, and the gifts of the Spirit. Repent of following your desires. Seek the lasting pleasures of God rather than the momentary pleasures of this world.

Prayer:  Father, send me the Holy Spirit to fight against my flesh (Gal 5:17). Cleanse my heart (Jn 2:15) of useless desires.

Promise:  "Whoever welcomes a child such as this for My sake welcomes me. And whoever welcomes Me welcomes, not Me, but Him Who sent Me." —Mk 9:37

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who was raised up because of His obedience to the Father. Alleluia!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 26, 2006

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