September 30, 2012 — Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Nm 11:25-29; Ps 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14; Jas 5:1-6; Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
Today’s readings lead us to reflect on the gifts we have been given, and the source of those gifts — God.
In the first reading and in the gospel, we hear of men who raise objections when they see others participating in God’s mission. Moses’ followers were appalled when they noticed that two men who were not among their company had been given the gift of prophecy. Surely prophesying was not their place. And, in the gospel reading, Jesus’ disciples objected to men who were casting out demons in Christ’s name.
In both cases, the objectors were assured that the men had been given gifts from God, and their decision to use those gifts to serve God’s kingdom was indeed a good thing.
The readings serve to remind us that every one of us has been given great gifts, and we are called to recognize those gifts, to receive them gratefully, and to use them in service of God and neighbor. When we do this, we participate in Christ’s own mission of loving service. He came to give Himself for us, and He has given us many gifts so that we can join Him in His earthly mission, using our gifts to proclaim His truth and serve one another.
What gifts has God given you? How are you using them? Do you find yourself caught up noticing the gifts others have been given and wondering about their proper use of them? Or, do you rejoice in the gifts God has given you and others and do your best to participate in the mission of the Church, serving God by giving yourself and your gifts back to Him in gratitude for all He has given you?