way of life

26th Sunday Ordinary Time 2015

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Gospel Reflection for 26th Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – September 27th 2015

Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.


John said to Jesus, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.

‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ,
then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’

‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out.’

Mark 9:38-43.45.47-48


There’s’ a certain definiteness in the gospel today. Like a team going on a field – to win. We are either with Jesus or against him, and this is proved in our way of life with others Following Jesus means not being better or different than others. It means throwing ourselves into the everyday life and needs of people and giving what we can.

It comes out also in public life. We can make our voices heard about issues which deeply affect others, like respecting and protecting life, like ensuring we care for our children in fact as well as in law, legislating wisely about marriage, in how we legislate for the care of our elderly. Many_more_people_are_lighting_their_candles_at_the_Naga_Metropolitan_CathedralWe may work to free our country from the effects of addiction with drugs and alcohol.

To Make a Difference
Jesus is asking for a definite way of life and of wanting to make a difference. Faith is more than assent of the mind, but a way of life and of trust – a way of life in not hindering others, but helping with compassion and good deeds. Our way of life is a sharing of faith one to another – “Faith is passed on by contact, from one person to another, just as one candle is lighted from another” – Pope Francis.

The people who make a difference are building blocks rather than stumbling blocks. Every good cause will have its begrudgers. The apostles themselves were like that and bit by bit realised that following Jesus can be seen in many ways, and in the giving of cold water or hot soup, or in any way, making a big difference in life is being a true follower.

Donal Neary SJ

Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger magazine