26th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Call to worship
The Spirit of God rests on everyone, not just a select few. Let us pray that we may uncover God’s Spirit so that prophets and people of vision will arise in our world and give us direction that we may find healing, wholeness and holiness.
- To the point: What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? It means doing good works “in (his) name.” It means receiving all others who do good “in (his) name.” It means cutting off from ourselves any behaviors that keep us or others from living “in (his) name.” It means, then, taking on both Jesus’ single-minded focus (his willingness to pay any price for the sake of the kingdom) and his open-minded acceptance of all the good works and all the good people who are bringing this kingdom about.
- Connecting the Gospel (Mark 9:38-48) to the first reading: Moses understood that God chooses those on whom the spirit will rest. Both Moses and Jesus make clear that when God acts through someone, we are not to judge or thwart their efforts, but to accept and respect God’s working through whomever God chooses.
- Connecting the Gospel to our experience: We tend to live in closed circles of people because of comfortableness, like-mindedness, and shared values and beliefs. Jesus challenges us to “cut. . . off” from our manner of living any attitudes or behaviors that keep us from recognizing God’s presence in a broader circle.
(Mark 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48)
“For whoever is not against us is for us.”
Who is for us? Those who give welcome to the refugee?
Who shelter the homeless, who care for the earth,
who feed the hungry, teach the ignorant,
stand for justice, who give a drop ofwater in his name.
Jesus, all we want is to be on your side.
To care for your children, to serve your poor,
to welcome the immigrant, to free the prisoner.
Lord, we ask you, give us only your grace.
The First Reading
(Numbers 11: 25-29)
They had not gone out to the tent, yet the spirit came to rest on them also
and they prophesied in the camp.
Seventy Elders, all together, welcomed the Spirit in the tent.
But to Joshua’s dismay two of the
elders began to prophesy to those in the camp
Holy Spirit, you don’t keep our rules.
We can’t hem you in or harness you, or say
“You can’t go there” or “You wouldn’t dare do that.”
You go, like the wind, where you will, and we
sense the breeze you send; but we
do not feel whence it comes or where it goes.
So we ask you for this, at least: let us welcome
your sweet breathing into us.
The Second Reading
(James 5: 1-6)
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers
who harvested your fields are crying aloud.
Wages denied to workers cry out to the Lord.
Instead, let us cry out for the helpless
who are required to labor,
and workers in the maquilas of El Salvador,
sweatshops in Guatemala, China and the Dominican Republic.
Instead, let us cry out and care for human dignity,
humane work and persons of God.
Let us become God’s love.
Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck
Music for meditation