We waste so much time and attention on our personal desires instead of the wisdom of God
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 19, 2021): WIS 2:12,17-20; PS 54:3-4,5,6,9; JAS 3:16 – 4:3; MK 9:30-37
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
"For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice." (James 3:16)
Today’s readings can seem rather discouraging. We see examples of people, even some people of faith, who still manage to put the themselves before God, and certainly before others. From the Book of Wisdom, we hear how the wicked mock and torment those who are just. After all, the evil think, if good people trust God and do what He wants, then let Him defend them. And He does, but not always in the way we expect. As Christians, we believe in a Savior who was scorned and scourged; who was nailed to a cross to die for sinners – for us. And even when we proclaim ourselves as His followers, it does not mean that temptations do not lead us with our human weaknesses back to sin. And in turning away from God, we can and do hurt others at the same time.
St. James addresses the need for Christians to pursue ethical lives in light of the Good News. He reminds people that as members of the Church they need to demonstrate morality in service to their brothers and sisters. “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace” (James 3:16-18). We can cause great harm to ourselves and our family, or our community if we do not actively strive to do good and to avoid evil. We create many problems in our own lives and for others by coveting anything we have no right to have and by putting ourselves, our feelings, and our preferences first. Only by entrusting our bodies and souls to Christ and following the way He taught and lived, can we truly belong to Him now and always.
Suggested missionary action: We can pray to our Lord every day for the gifts of wisdom and peace and the desire to cooperate with His grace. Then we will be able to grow in holiness and service to Him and become the true disciples and good neighbors He call us to be.