26th Sunday in Ordinary Time | Cycle B
Nm. 11:25-29; Jas. 5:1-6;
Mk. 9:38-43, 45, 47-48.
Shortly after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he met his father-in-law Jethro who rejoiced in the Lord for this great gift of the Exodus. Later Jethro observed that Moses was occupied all day settling the disputes among the people. He advised Moses to look for “able and God-fearing men, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain, and set them as officers over groups of thousands, hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Let these men render decisions for the people in all ordinary cases. More important cases they should refer to you” (Ex 18:21-22). In the Book of Exodus, there was no mention of God endowing these men with his Spirit. It is not until the Book of Numbers that we see God asking Moses to choose seventy men who will help him in governing the people, and he will bestow his Spirit on them. While the others were gathered around the tent of God for the rite of commissioning, two were left in their own tents, yet they also received the gift of the Spirit and they spoke in tongues. Joshua was alarmed and asked Moses to stop them. But Moses exclaimed with a generous heart: “Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his Spirit on them all!”
Let us all be like Moses, praying that the Spirit of the Lord be poured out on all the baptized to speak of the marvelous deeds of the Lord, and to proclaim the Word of salvation to all nations. We ourselves have seen the growth in the faith of all those who were baptized in the Spirit. We should pray more and offer penance the more so that sin will be removed from our society: abortion, LGBT dominance, drug addiction, adultery and prostitution, and foul language, calumny and false accusation. Let the Spirit of God fill us and guide us to greater virtue and growth in holiness.
Not only Catholic charismatics but also Pentecostal evangelists have successfully delivered men and women from oppression and possession of the devil “in the name of Jesus.” We should praise God for that. We should feel humbled because we Catholics are slow to cast out demons and sickness in the name of Jesus. We have Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and we receive him in Holy Communion, but we fail to bring him with us to our homes and families. By the time we reach home from Mass, we behave our old selves as though we have left Jesus in Church at wala siya pakialam sa ating buhay araw araw. Is this the reason why the Risen Lord does not change our lives and our families? We receive Jesus in Holy Communion, how come we are not transformed and become better persons? How come our Justices stab each other at the back? We kill drug addicts but make no effort to improve rehabilitation centers! Even our police force that is supposed to keep the people safe are drug lords and pushers! We do not drive out demons from our midst in the name of Jesus, rather we invite the demon into our midst by engaging in vices. We do not bring Jesus into our homes and families, he is not in our working places and our schools. Is Jesus in our Congress Halls and the Senate? Is Jesus in Malacañang? We cannot drive out demons in the name of Jesus because he is not with us, or rather we do not bring him with us in our daily lives. The Pentecostal charismatics always invoke Jesus and they drive out demons from places, objects and persons. For us Catholics, where is Jesus? Their homes are safe because they consciously invoke the name of Jesus as they come into their houses, and before they leave. They invoke Jesus upon their houses and their children and even their house help and everything they hold dear. Let us learn to do the same.
Let us put everything we own under the protection of the name of Jesus and our minds and hearts under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Yes, let the Risen Lord and his Spirit be alive in our daily chores and tasks.