WSC Reflection for September 26, 2021

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year I)

Community Word: Faith opens our hearts to witness to God’s love and saving grace.
Theme: We witness to God’s love and saving grace when we are pure of heart and charitable in our ways.
Promise: “… because you belong to Christ …you will surely not lose his reward.” (Mk 9: 41b)

As Christ’s disciples, it is inevitable that we will experience the love of God when our hearts are pure and devoid of sin. But there are times when we choose to live in sin and separate ourselves from God. God, in His great mercy and love for us, constantly reminds us to avoid sin at all times so that we might feel His love. In the Gospel, Jesus did not mince words and warned us not to cause others to sin. We are asked to reflect on our life and identify the things that lead us to commit sin. He exhorts us to leave those things and cut them off, for they are not worth keeping if they cause us to lose our chance to be in God’s loving and holy presence. We are reminded to keep ourselves pure, live holy lives and resist evil. St. Paul tells us, “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good,” (Rom 12:21). Sin forms a barrier that isolates God from the people He loves. But when our heart is pure and our life is transformed, we become a testimony to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because Christ lives in us.
Such is the story that we see in the Gospel. We can do all things if done in the name of Jesus, for it is Jesus who strengthens and empowers us. Anyone who has pure intentions and does a good act to another in Jesus name is blessed. “There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mk 9:39-40). Nobody can claim that they can do better on their own, even if they are so-called followers of Christ, because Jesus looks at everyone equally as His brother or sister, as long as one does the will of the Father. Jesus teaches us to be humble of heart with pure intention to allow goodness and healing to spread. No one can claim exclusivity to God’s grace because His grace is given free to all, not by our own merit, but by the salvific power of Jesus Christ.
When we see good works performed by people outside our community, we should accept such acts with an open mind, tolerance and inclusivity. God’s grace abounds where faith and good works are performed whether in or outside of community. In the same token, as community members, we are disciplined to become matured Christians. Any uncharitable action or wrongdoing can cause others to be scandalized because of poor or bad witnessing; some members leave community because they begin to lose faith in their renewal.
Pure intention should lead us to show real care and kindness to our needy brothers and sisters. Jesus tells us that kindness shown to others “will surely not lose his reward,” (Mk 9:41b), even in a very simple gesture as giving a cup of water to drink. There are many opportunities in our community to demonstrate care and compassion, especially through our mission programs and acts of charity. St. James says that faith alone cannot save us and that faith without good works is dead. Bringing others to Christ means having a demonstrable faith, which in turn means that even as we worship God, we should also show our love for Him through love of our neighbor.
Doing God’s will, following His commandments, strong faith and good works give us an assurance that we are not far from embracing His Kingdom. Jesus is very clear on this: “…because you belong to Christ…you will surely not lose your reward,” (Mk 9: 41b).

Lord, bless me with a humble heart that can readily appreciate people who possess pure intention to do good for others. Bless me with an inspiring spirit so that I can invite and lead new souls which can be nurtured and directed to a path that would lead them to have a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Reflection Guide Questions:

  1. What steps can you take to avoid temptations, especially in areas that readily lead you to sin?
  2. How can you develop a pure heart with pure intention to show real care and kindness to others?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
September 26, 2021 (Sun) – Nm: 11:25-29/ Ps 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14/ Jas 5:1-6/Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
September 27, 2021 (Mon) – Zec 8:1-8/ Ps 102:16-18, 19-21, 29, 22-23/ Lk 9:46-50
September 28, 2021 (Tue) – Zec 8:20-23/ Ps 87:1b-3, 4-5, 6-7/ Lk 9:51-56
September 29, 2021 (Wed) – Dn 7:9-10, 13-14/ Ps 138:1-2,2-3,4-5/ Jn 1:47-51
September 30, 2021 (Thurs) – Neh 8:1-4a,5-6,7b-12/ Ps 19:8,9,10,11/ Lk 10:1-12
October 1, 2021 (Fri) – Bar 1:15-22/ Ps 79:1b-2, 3-5, 8, 9/ Lk 10:13-16
October 2, 2021 (Sat) – Bar 4:5-12, 27-29/ Ps 69:33-35, 36-37/ Mt 18:1-5, 10

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”


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