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25th Sunday of O.T. – Cycle B

September 20th, 2015



The Child!





Reading 1
Wis 2:12, 17-20

The wicked say:
Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 54:3-4, 5, 6 and 8

R. (6b)The Lord upholds my life.
O God, by your name save me,
and by your might defend my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
hearken to the words of my mouth.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
For the haughty men have risen up against me,
the ruthless  seek my life;
they set not God before their eyes.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.
Freely will I offer you sacrifice;
I will praise your name, O LORD, for its goodness.
R. The Lord upholds my life.

Reading II
Jas 3:16-4:3


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.

Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive,
because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Mk 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”




They could not have been walking with him. They must have been walking behind him, or maybe in front of him. They were discussing their relationships with him. We don’t know exactly what was said, but we can assume what it might have been about.

Peter said, “Of course, without any doubt, I am the most important! Didn’t he call me “rock” on which that community of his is going to be built?” John said, “I am sorry for you. What you say is true, but that is only a question of administrative bureaucracy. The fact that you might be a good administrator does not make you the most important one. You should look for something else. You should be attentive to something more important. You should look for his love, and if you do that, well . . . he loves me the most!”

Then Judas spoke. He said, “The most important fellow is the man with the money. You don’t need to be a Marxist or a capitalist to know that. The world is ruled by money, and to whom did he entrust his money? To me, and that is why I . . .” Philip spoke: “All of that is very nice. Do you remember when he had that catering problem in the desert with all those thousands, when nobody knew what to do, himself included? He turned to me for advice. I am sorry for all three of you, but he asked me . . .”

Jesus must have walked ahead of them or behind them during that conversation, having his own thoughts, his own sentiments, while they had theirs. He spoke about being delivered into the hands of men; they spoke about how others would be delivered to them. He spoke about saving others, carrying their plight; they spoke about themselves in the small circles of their personal lives. He spoke about being a servant; they spoke about being a master.

At first sight, of course, their conversation seemed to very pious. They spoke about their relationship with him. They spoke about their relationship with God. Peter spoke about Jesus’ trust in him, while beating his enormous chest. John spoke about Jesus’ love, and he pointed at his heart. Judas spoke about Jesus’ purse, indicating that it was the thing that counted. Philip spoke about Jesus’ appreciation of his judgment and flair.

A few Saturdays ago I couldn’t sleep too well because of a nagging back pain. I woke up at all hours in the middle of the night. I switched the tv on. I was amazed to find people preaching about Jesus in the middle of the night. I was even more amazed at their messages. Those messages seemed to be a continuation of the competitive fight those disciples of Jesus’ had. As for his disciples, it was all about “I.” I, standing in front of our savior. I, being anointed, being in a holy place, with my loins girded, with my breastplate of faith and my sword of truth. I, feeling so fine, very pious, very scriptural. And, in the very end, even Judas’ purse and money were not forgotten.

So they arrived at Capernaum. They arrived at his house. They went inside and they washed their feet and sat down. He asked them, “What were you all speaking about? What were you quarreling about? What was all the noise about when I walked behind you, when I walked in front of you?” There was no answer. They looked at one another. They felt ashamed. They felt stupid and embarrassed. They realized that he knew. Where there had been silence for quite some time, he stood up, went to the door, and disappeared, leaving them behind, speechless. They did not even dare to look at one another.

He came back holding a child by the hand, one he had found in the street. A small girl with a runny nose and pitch black eyes. He put his hands on her, he greeted her, he kissed her, and said, “Whoever received a child like this one, breaking open the circle in which she or he lives, is receiving me, and not only me, but the one who sent me as well.” I don’t know what they did after that. Maybe Peter gave her a pat on her shoulders. Maybe John kissed her on both her cheeks. Maybe Judas gave her a coin, and Philip put her on his knee while he dried her nose.

If they received that small child in all sincerity that evening, they must have been filled – according to his word – with God self, and a question, “Who is the most important” did not make any sense anymore.

© Deacon Steve A. Politte
September 20, 2015



I Give . . . !

I give you life, a very beginning,
to care for and cherish until it’s ending.

I give you friends when you’re in need,
and faith, so that you will believe in Me.

I give you “free will” so you can decide,
what choices to make by which to abide.

I give you creation; blue skies, and all,
sunshine and rain, and green trees so tall.

I give you food to sustain your health,
water to drink, and much more wealth.

I give you dreams and wishes to behold,
and visions peace in a world turned cold.

I give you forgiveness when you repent,
the joys of children, which to you are sent.

I allow you burdens that weigh you down,
but also hope, in your heart to be found.

I allow you pain and suffering too,
the power of prayer that will strengthen you.

I give you vision so you can see,
the path to take that leads to Me!

I give you My heart without any cost,
directions to follow so you won’t get lost.

I gave you My Son to take your place,
to die on a cross, for the sins of the human race.

I give you Myself for I am Love,
freely given from My Kingdom up above!

©Steve A. Politte












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