This Sunday’s Readings:
Psalm 19:8, 10, 12–13, 14 (℟ 9a)
Mark 9:38–43, 45, 47–48
TODAY, JESUS’S DISCIPLES COMPLAIN ABOUT AN OUTSIDER DRIVING OUT DEMONS, something they had failed at earlier in the chapter. But their complaint is not that this person was healing or does so in Jesus’s name. They are annoyed because “he does not follow us.” Remember, Jesus had just placed a child in front of them and told them to focus not on their own greatness but on those like this little one. Still, in front of that child, the disciples whined about their own insignificance.
What did that child learn from the disciples that day? That discipleship is about reward and fame, not self-sacrifice for others? That what was important was not Jesus’s mission but being “in the club”? It’s no wonder Jesus went hyperbolic on them!
However, there’s a bit of small-minded discipleship in us too. Just after his election, Pope Francis said, “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules” (“A Big Heart Open to God”); and, “To get diverted by many secondary or superfluous things does not help; what helps is to focus on the fundamental reality, which is the encounter with Christ” (address, October 14, 2013).
Whatever is small-minded in our thinking or practice that distorts the focus on Christ must be cut off, even if we hold them as dear as our own limbs.
Let this be a house of prayer, shelter of God’s love and care. Let this be a house of prayer for all people.
What is the first place you think of when you think about a house of prayer? A church. A synagogue. A mosque. But as we learned this past year and a half, there are more houses of prayer beyond these religious buildings. A family room. A hospital room. Even your car. You don’t need to be in a church building to be in the presence of God. The bricks and the mortar don’t make a house of prayer, it is the community gathered that allows us to experience the presence of God. A community of welcome. A community of love. A community of acceptance. God is all around us as we minister to our brothers and sisters. “Where two or three are gathered, here I am in the midst of them.” What is your house of prayer this week? How can you open your house of prayer and your heart to God this week?
More choral suggestions for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time…
Born from the Gospel Rob Glover SATB, assembly, piano, guitar, opt. C instrument G-4587
Con la Cruz / In the Cross Pedro Rubalcava Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, 2 violins, 2 Bb trumpets, 012731
I Know I’ve Been Changed Arr. W. Clifford Petty, keyboard arr. M Roger Holland II SATB, solo, assembly, keyboard 001273
Let the Children Come to Me Rory Cooney SAB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, flute, opt violin & viola 008304
Partners in the Mission Peter Fisher Hesed SAB, descant, assembly, keyboard, violin or C instrument 008825
Psalm 19 from Seasonal Psalms for Children Dolores M. Hruby Unison choir or cantor, assembly, keyboard, opt. Orff instruments 007102
We Come to Your Table, Lord William Batchelder Bradbury, Arr. Steven Van Wye Unison children’s choir, descant, assembly, keyboard, guitar 007144
Whatever You Do John Angotti SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar 008342