September 30, 2012 – Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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In the first reading, Elad and Medad were prophesying in the camp and Joshua informed Moses to stop them saying:  “Moses, my lord, stop them.”  But Moses answered him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!  Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!”  Would you like to be able to prophesy?  What is it and was it only used in the Old Testament? Can you hear God speak to you?  Moses wished that all of God’s people would do it.  He’s not the only one.  In 1 Corinthians 14:1, Paul said, “Pursue love, but strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts, above all that you may prophesy.”

When I was a teenager, I loved reading the Bible and doing Lectio Divina (the traditional Catholic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word).  God spoke to me so much in those years.  He wants us to know Him, hear Him, and do His will.  Jeremiah 1:4-9 documents how God spoke to Jeremiah in his youth.  The dialogue follows:  The word of the LORD came to me (Jeremiah): “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”  “Ah, Lord GOD!”  I (Jeremiah) said, “I do not know how to speak.  I am too young!”  But the LORD answered me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young. ’  To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you—oracle of the LORD.”  Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying to me, “See, I place my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.”

God loves you and has plans for you.  He wants us to work in unison with Him and His will. Communication is two-way.  He wants to speak to you in the midst of the noise and commotion of everyday life.  He wants you find rest in Him. To be salt and light to those whom you are around (Matt 5:13-16).  What does it mean to be salty?  It’s more than just adding flavor to something.  My family used to have several cows.  One was a Jersey cow which produced delicious milk.  My father used to put salt blocks out for the cows to lick.  They loved it like candy.  Why did we put salt blocks out?  Well, after licking them, they would become thirsty and head to the water trough to drink.  The salt caused them to drink more.  The more water they drank the more milk they produced.

God wants you to make people thirsty for more of Him, the Living Water.  We need to reach the ones in the James 5:1-6 reading.  Many people around us are poor, blind and naked, as is stated in Revelations 3:15-17.  “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either cold or hot.  So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything’, and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”

You can do more than you think you can!  Don’t wait until you are in your twenties to step out to do something that blesses others.  You can speak life, hope, encouragement, and love to others around you now.  Many keep putting it off, afraid to share the love of God with others.  One day you might realize in your forties or fifties that you may have to repent of sins of omission because God wanted you to be His hands and feet, His mouthpiece to the many people you cross paths with that need the message of Christ brought to them in an approachable, non-threatening, and relational-based way.  Many parishes only have one or two priests, and they can’t reach everyone in your neighborhood by themselves.  We can’t just rely on them to spread the Good News.  They want us to do it as well!  In the Nicene Creed we profess one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.  Do you really mean what you are saying in the creed? Do you live it?  Can you share it?  You can do it!  The gospel reading in Mark 9 warns us not to cause people to stumble.  Don’t let your eyes, hands or feet lead you to a place where you will be separated from God.  Your eyes are the gateway to your heart.  Whatever you allow to enter the gateway of your eyes, if negative, with corrupt your heart/soul, and over a matter of time you with physically act out what you allowed to enter.  They same goes with your ears.  We need to die to the flesh.  It’s hard, but God will give you the grace to say “No” when we need to say “No” (to sin) and “Yes” to the times we can be a blessing.  So, please go out and bless, pray, encourage, evangelize, and shine to those around you, because as God selected Jeremiah in his youth, He has selected you as well.  You can do it!  He loves you and will give you the mercy and grace needed to accomplish His will in your lives.  Simply say “Yes”!

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