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Sunday, September 27, 2009

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26th Sunday Ordinary Time

Numbers 11:25-29
James 5:1-6
Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-14
Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

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jealous christians

"Are you jealous?" —Numbers 11:29

People who have been given a new life in Jesus and are filled with the Spirit seem especially tempted to spiritual jealousy. They're jealous of Eldad and Medad prophesying (Nm 11:29), of Moses leading (Nm 12:1), of a stranger expelling demons (Mk 9:38), or of John and James trying to get a "spiritual" promotion (Mt 20:24).

The Lord does not tolerate spiritual jealousy. Miriam became a snow-white leper after her outbreak of jealousy against Moses (Nm 12:10). Jesus said that being drowned or maimed is preferable to falling into the sin of spiritual jealousy (Mk 9:42-47). The first murder was committed because of spiritual jealousy. Cain was jealous that Abel's offering was accepted by God and his own wasn't (Gn 4:4-5). Jesus was crucified because of the jealousy of the religious leaders (Mt 27:18). The Jews of Antioch in Pisidia persecuted Paul and Barnabas because of jealousy (Acts 13:45).

Some of history's worst sins can be attributed to spiritual jealousy. Resist any temptations to jealousy, and repent of any sins of jealousy.

Prayer:  Father, may I rejoice that others are more gifted and more honored than I am.

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:  Praise You, Jesus, the risen Lord! You are "merciful and gracious...slow to anger and abounding in kindness" (Ps 103:8).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Jealousy on audio AV 53-3 or video V-53.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009

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