Bible Diary for September 30th – October 6thBible Diary
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: num 11:25-29:
Yahweh came down in the cloud and spoke to him. He took some of the spirit that was upon him and put it on the seventy elders. Now when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But this they did not do again.
Two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad, the name of the other Medad. However, the spirit came on them for they were among those who were registered though they had not gone out to the Tent. As they prophesied inside the camp, a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Joshua, the son of Nun, who ministered to Moses from his youth said, “My lord Moses, stop them!”
But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous on my behalf? Would that all Yahweh’s people were prophets and that Yahweh would send his spirit upon them!”
2nd Reading: Jas 5:1-6:
So, now, for what concerns the rich, cry and weep, for the misfortunes that are coming upon you. Your riches are rotting, and your clothes, eaten up by the moths. Your silver and gold have rusted, and their rust grows into a witness against you. It will consume your flesh, like fire, for having piled up riches, in these, the last days.
You deceived the workers who harvested your fields, but, now, their wages cry out to the heavens. The reapers’ complaints have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You lived in luxury and pleasure in this world, thus, fattening yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have easily condemned, and killed the innocent since they offered no resistance.
Gospel: Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48:
John said to him, “Master, we saw someone who drove out demons by calling upon your name, and we tried to forbid him, because he does not belong to our group.” Jesus answered, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in my name can soon after speak evil of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.
If anyone gives you a drink of water because you belong to Christ and bear his name, truly, I say to you, he will not go without reward.
If anyone should cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble and sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a great millstone around his neck. If your hand makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a hand, than with two hands to go to hell, to the fire that never goes out.
And if your foot makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a foot, than with both feet to be thrown into hell.
And if your eye makes you fall into sin, tear it out! It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, keeping both eyes, to be thrown into hell, where the worms that eat them never die, and the fire never goes out. The fire itself will preserve them.
Look at the differences in reaction of Joshua and Moses towards those who were prophesying outside their group. See the same difference in reaction of John and Jesus towards the one ministering outside their group. It is the kind of attitude displayed by Joshua and John that perpetuates poverty, hatred, and misery in today‘s world as well. If religion has a bad name today and people walk away in disgust, it is because we have used religion to build walls and fences based on presumed differences, and not bridges and roads linking people up. As Mahatma Gandhi once observed, there is enough religion to hate, but not enough religion to love. The tendency to see the world in binaries of ingroup and outgroup creates hatred, envy, and violence. We shall learn to see the world and others through the example of Moses and Jesus who desire everyone to receive every good and be one people under one God. Pray for unity among peoples. Read the holy scriptures of a religion other than yours and discover common ground.
St. Therese of Lisieux
1st Reading: Job 1:6-22:
One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
Satan also came among them.
And the LORD said to Satan, “Whence do you come?”
Then Satan answered the LORD and said,
“From roaming the earth and patrolling it.”
And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job,
and that there is no one on earth like him,
blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?”
But Satan answered the LORD and said,
“Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?
Have you not surrounded him and his family
and all that he has with your protection?
You have blessed the work of his hands,
and his livestock are spread over the land.
But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has,
and surely he will blaspheme you to your face.”
And the LORD said to Satan,
“Behold, all that he has is in your power;
only do not lay a hand upon his person.”
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
And so one day, while his sons and his daughters
were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
a messenger came to Job and said,
“The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them,
and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid.
They put the herdsmen to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
“Lightning has fallen from heaven
and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them;
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another messenger came and said,
“The Chaldeans formed three columns,
seized the camels, carried them off,
and put those tending them to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
“Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
when suddenly a great wind came across the desert
and smote the four corners of the house.
It fell upon the young people and they are dead;
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair.
He cast himself prostrate upon the ground, and said,
“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb,
and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD!”
In all this Job did not sin,
nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.
Gospel: Lk 9:46-50:
One day, the disciples were arguing about which of them was the most important. But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he took a little child and stood him by his side. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me. And listen: the one who is found to be the least among you all, is the one who is the greatest.“
Then John spoke up, “Master, we saw someone who drives out demons by calling upon your name, and we tried to forbid him, because he doesn‘t follow you with us.“ But Jesus said, “Don‘t forbid him. He who is not against you is for you.“
It is interesting that the greatness is to be seen in the child rather than in the one who knows and controls everything. The child represents all who are vulnerable and weak and powerless. To welcome such persons is to treat them with the utmost dignity and respect and to accept them and be like them In Jesus‘ eyes, these persons are truly great because, to those who have eyes to see, they are the ones in whom we can especially see the libe rating character of Jesus‘ words and deeds. St. Francis of Assisi, who kissed the leper (a gesture of mercy), or Mother Teresa, tenderly picking up a decaying, barely living body off the street, knew this well. To find Jesus in such a person is to encounter God within them. God reveals himself in weakness and not in powerful means. Jesus himself shows the greatness of his love for us when he hangs dying and helpless on the cross. This is the lesson the disciples will learn to see and accept in time. We have to keep working on it, too, because it does not come easily to any of us who prefer cheap grace and love.
The Guardian Angels
1st Reading: Jb 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23:
Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.
Job spoke out and said:
Perish the day on which I was born,
the night when they said, “The child is a boy!”
Why did I not perish at birth,
come forth from the womb and expire?
Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth,
like babes that have never seen the light?
Wherefore did the knees receive me?
or why did I suck at the breasts?
For then I should have lain down and been tranquil;
had I slept, I should then have been at rest
With kings and counselors of the earth
who built where now there are ruins
Or with princes who had gold
and filled their houses with silver.
There the wicked cease from troubling,
there the weary are at rest.
Why is light given to the toilers,
and life to the bitter in spirit?
They wait for death and it comes not;
they search for it rather than for hidden treasures,
Rejoice in it exultingly,
and are glad when they reach the grave:
Those whose path is hidden from them,
and whom God has hemmed in!
Gospel: mt 18:1-5, 10:
At that time, the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?“ Then Jesus called a little child, set the child in the midst of the disciples, and said, “I assure you that, unless you change, and become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble, like this child, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and whoever receives such a child, in my name, receives me.
“See that you do not despise any of these little ones; for I tell you, their angels in heaven continually see the face of my heavenly Father.“
Who is the greatest in the Kingdom and, by implication, in the Christian community, which is a sign of the Kingdom? Jesus answers the question very simply by putting a child in front of his disciples. To become the greatest is to become a small child. Why? They are totally open to learning. They are free to play and love. It is this quality that we need to enter the Reign of God. To be totally open and free to love are keys to listening to God. It is to see with open eyes and with open hearts. It is to receive everything that God wants us to have and to become everything God wants us to become. Furthermore, to welcome a person who has these qualities in Jesus‘ name is to welcome Christ himself.
The gospel moves from children to the ‘little ones‘. These little ones are not just children but the weaker ones in the community and they may be adults. But they are the ones who can be very easily manipulated and exploited by the powerful and dominant. The imperative is to care for the little ones and share with them the call to justice and compassion.
1st Reading: Jb 9:1-12, 14-16:
Job answered his friends and said:
I know well that it is so;
but how can a man be justified before God?
Should one wish to contend with him,
he could not answer him once in a thousand times.
God is wise in heart and mighty in strength;
who has withstood him and remained unscathed?
He removes the mountains before they know it;
he overturns them in his anger.
He shakes the earth out of its place,
and the pillars beneath it tremble.
He commands the sun, and it rises not;
he seals up the stars.
He alone stretches out the heavens
and treads upon the crests of the sea.
He made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south;
He does great things past finding out,
marvelous things beyond reckoning.
Should he come near me, I see him not;
should he pass by, I am not aware of him;
Should he seize me forcibly, who can say him nay?
Who can say to him, “What are you doing?”
How much less shall I give him any answer,
or choose out arguments against him!
Even though I were right, I could not answer him,
but should rather beg for what was due me.
If I appealed to him and he answered my call,
I could not believe that he would hearken to my words.
Gospel: Lk 9:57-62:
As they went on their way, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.“ Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.“
To another, Jesus said, “Follow me!“ But he answered, “Let me go back now, for, first, I want to bury my father.“ And Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their dead; as for you, leave them, and proclaim the kingdom of God.“
Another said to him, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to my family.“ And Jesus said to him, “Whoever has put his hand to the plow, and looks back, is not fit for the kingdom of God.“
What does the story of a plowman have to do with the journey with God? A plowman who looked back while plowing caused his furrow to be crooked. He had to look straight ahead in order to keep the plow from going off course. Likewise, if we look back, we hang on to former securities and comfort zones preventing us from what God has for us. Looking back is holding on to past ways and questionable behavior. The gospel does not record the response from these three would be disciples. We are only left with the question which Jesus intends for us as well. Are you ready to take the path Jesus offers? His infinite mercy is sufficient and his love is strong. There is nothing greater we can do with our lives than to place them at the service of the Creator of the universe. We cannot overcome God in generosity and mercy. Ours is many times conditional and not gratuitous. Jesus promises that those who are willing to part with what is most dear to them for his sake “will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life“ (Matthew 19:29). Is there anything holding you back from pursuing the Lord and his will for your life?
St. Francis of Assisi
1st Reading: Jb 19:21-27:
Pity me, pity me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has struck me!
Why do you hound me as though you were divine,
and insatiably prey upon me?
Oh, would that my words were written down!
Would that they were inscribed in a record:
That with an iron chisel and with lead
they were cut in the rock forever!
But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives,
and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;
Whom I myself shall see:
my own eyes, not another’s, shall behold him,
And from my flesh I shall see God;
my inmost being is consumed with longing.
Gospel: Lk 10:1-12:
After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them, two by two, ahead of him, to every town and place, where he himself was to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know.
Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!‘ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.
When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them: ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.‘ But in any town where you are not welcome, go to the marketplace and proclaim: ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off and leave with you.
But know for a certainty that the kingdom of God has drawn near to you.‘ I tell you, that on the Day of Judgment it will be better for Sodom than for this town.
Jesus sends them “ahead of him … to every town and place where he himself intended to go.“ It is also a preview of the ministry Jesus gives us today. We go “ahead of him,“ bringing his message where we go. Jesus warned the seventy to expect resistance and rejection. Some prefer to live their own lives to living meaningfully in the service of others. If not persecution and martyrdom, we might meet the indifference of those who are caught by increasingly materialistic and consumeristic society. Jesus‘ advice on the mission was to “travel light.“ In times, it would mean not to let stuff get in the way or conflict with your ministry of the gospel. God‘s blessings come in unexpected ways and many times more than our financial or material worries. St. Teresa of Avila‘s well-known saying reminds us of what is truly essential in following Jesus: Christ has no body on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ looks out to the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless others now.
1st Reading: Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5:
The LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said:
Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning
and shown the dawn its place
For taking hold of the ends of the earth,
till the wicked are shaken from its surface?
The earth is changed as is clay by the seal,
and dyed as though it were a garment;
But from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm of pride is shattered.
Have you entered into the sources of the sea,
or walked about in the depths of the abyss?
Have the gates of death been shown to you,
or have you seen the gates of darkness?
Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all:
Which is the way to the dwelling place of light,
and where is the abode of darkness,
That you may take them to their boundaries
and set them on their homeward paths?
You know, because you were born before them,
and the number of your years is great!
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again;
though twice, I will do so no more.
Gospel: Lk 10:13-16:
Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! So many miracles have been worked in you! If the same miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would already be sitting in ashes and wearing the sackcloth of repentance. Surely for Tyre and Sidon it will be better on the Day of Judgment than for you. And what of you, city of Capernaum? Will you be lifted up to heaven? You will be thrown down to the place of the dead.
Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me; and he who rejects me, rejects the one who sent me.“
Addressing his disciples he says, “He that hears you, hears me and he that despises you despises me“ and the Father who sent him. In other words, to listen to the messengers of Jesus is equivalent to listening to him personally; to reject those messengers is to reject Jesus and to reject God. And, in our own times, perhaps we should emphasize that those “messengers“ are not just priests and religious. They include all those who sincerely proclaim the Gospel by their words and their lives. Each of us needs to hear those warnings of Jesus addressed to ourselves. How well have we really responded to the call of Jesus in the Gospel? How open are we to hear that message coming to us from different kinds of people in our community? How committed are we to accepting, living and sharing that Gospel with others? There is never any room for complacency or for indifference in our Christian life. We are all called to conversion and above all to share God‘s mercy to others.
Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Bruno, priest
Bl. Marie-Rose Durocher, virgin
1st Reading: Jb 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17:
Job answered the LORD and said:
I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be hindered.
I have dealt with great things that I do not understand;
things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know.
I had heard of you by word of mouth,
but now my eye has seen you.
Therefore I disown what I have said,
and repent in dust and ashes.
Thus the LORD blessed the latter days of Job
more than his earlier ones.
For he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels,
a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-asses.
And he had seven sons and three daughters,
of whom he called the first Jemimah,
the second Keziah, and the third Kerenhappuch.
In all the land no other women were as beautiful
as the daughters of Job;
and their father gave them an inheritance
along with their brothers.
After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years;
and he saw his children, his grandchildren,
and even his great-grandchildren.
Then Job died, old and full of years.
Gospel: Lk 10:17-24:
The sevent-ytwo disciples returned full of joy. They said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we called on your name.“ Then Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. You see, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the Enemy, so that nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, don‘t rejoice because the evil spirits submit to you; rejoice, rather, that your names are written in heaven.“
At that time, Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and made them known to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. I have been given all things by my Father, so that no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.“
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said to them privately, “Fortunate are you to see what you see, for I tell you, that many prophets and kings would have liked to see what you see, but did not see it; and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.“
The 72 newly commissioned disciples return from their first mission trip rejoicing over the outcome. Everything Jesus said came true. They are pleased and so is Jesus. Jesus is overjoyed at the results, as are the disciples. But Jesus wants to take their rejoicing to a new level. Understand, this is the only place in all the Gospels that the Bible says Jesus rejoices. The gospel of Luke continues to show us that in the decreed plan of God there is a divine reversal. It‘s God‘s gracious will to give salvation to the lowly and humble not those who already think they are good with God based on their own righteousness, status or wisdom. Jesus‘ rejoicing is two-fold. First, he rejoices because the Father has concealed these things from some and revealed these things to others. We must be very careful here. We must never act as if our righteous judgments or our best efforts are better than God‘s. Second, Jesus rejoices that his disciples are fortunate to have seen and experienced God‘s saving and liberating power.