26th Sunday Ordinary Time - Year B
Would That All Were Prophets!
Some sort of strange experience happened when Moses prayed. It may have been an ecstasy or speaking in tongues. Apparently, it also happened to the group of leaders who prayed with him.
Joshua, Moses' aide, reports that two outsiders are also showing the signs. Joshua is jealous and wants to stop them.
Moses answers ? probably with a smile ? "I wish everyone would be that open to God!"
Do Not Prevent Him
In an almost identical situation to Joshua and Moses, Peter complains to Jesus about an outsider who is working miracles in Christ's name. Our Lord is not mad. He points out that anyone who is not against him is really with him. This is a lesson in tolerance that we should apply to anyone who doesn't think or believe the same that we do.
Jesus makes what seems to be a strange suggestion. He tells us to dismember ourselves rather than allow sin to cast us into hell. Obviously, he is not commanding us to do self-mutilation. This would be morally wrong, because Christianity teaches respect for the body. We are stewards for all that God has given us. Christ challenges us to radical spiritual "surgery" to our sense of values. We must root out all that entices us away from God and from heaven. This implies not mortification, but modification of what we want out of life. Instant pleasures bring long-term suffering.
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