26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
The Lord gave his Spirit to them all!
O God, who manifest your almighty power
above all by pardoning and showing mercy,
bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us
and make those hastening to attain your promises
heirs to the treasures of heaven.
Today’s readings sound a note of warning against the small-heartedness that seeks to limit God’s love, or reject the action of God’s Spirit in the world. They proclaim the indwelling of the Spirit in the lives of all.
Moses rejoices that two elders absent from the Tent for the official ‘enrolment’ could still receive the Spirit, and he reprimands those who oppose this. Like Jesus in today’s Gospel, Moses upholds God’s freedom to communicate freely where he wills. (First Reading)
In this collection of sayings about Christian discipleship (Gospel), Jesus challenges his followers to pay attention to their attitude and inner motivation. The true disciple will be the one who knows how to rejoice in good, whatever its source. Jesus also gives powerful warnings to ‘anyone who is an obstacle ... to the little ones who have faith’.
The Psalm meditates on the qualities of God’s law, which reflect the characteristics of God himself. This is a ‘model prayer’ that helps safeguard the one who prays from both conscious and unconscious sin.
The Second Reading emphasises that those who are attached to riches at the expense of the poor are utterly un-Godly. They will be held accountable for their selfish actions in the next life.
This week, I may bring to prayer our local and national leaders, that they may allow service and humility to inform their inner attitude and motivation. I ask too that I may grow in awareness of my own God-given potential to influence life around me, in little ways and maybe even greater ones, as God wills.