Reflection: Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Num.11:25-29; Ps.18; 2nd Reading – Jm.5:1-6; Gospel – Mk.9:38-43,45,47-48]


The logic of God are totally different from the logic of men. The disciples’ way of thinking of belonging to a group was only in terms of the physical sense. But Jesus’ way of thinking of belonging to a group was not only in terms of the physical sense, but also to act as one of the group as well. In other words, Jesus is trying to teach his disciples that it is not just the adherence to a group of people that makes that person a member of the group, but to adhere to the motives of the Group as well.

Today’s Gospel is showing us this “belonging” through words and actions. We are told that Jesus’ teaching was already having an effect in the area. Someone, who was neither one of the twelve nor one of Jesus’ disciples, was performing miracles in Jesus’ name indicating that Jesus was already known and the people were already putting his teaching into action. But why did Jesus ask his disciples not to stop him?

Miracles do happen. We know that miracles happen through the intervention of God. No one can perform any miracle, except God who does so through those who are in union with Him. The person casting out the devil in Jesus’ name was already acting as one of Jesus’ disciples and God was performing miracles through this person who was acting ‘in Jesus’ name’. In other words, this person was “for” Jesus.  He belonged to Christ and therefore his actions were as if they were Christ’s. And as Christ himself, this person’s actions were such that sustained faith, in contrast with those of a person who becomes an obstacle to “little ones’ faith”. A person like this would never be fit to follow Jesus! If one wants to follow Jesus but is finding it difficult then it would be better for that person to cut away from his life the things that are impeding him/her to be a true follower of Jesus. In other words Jesus is saying that to follow Him is to act in His name, doing away with what renders this impossible! This impossibility to follow Jesus or to be an “obstacle” to the little ones’ faith is coming from committing sin. If anything is leading you to sin – and therefore not to relate with Jesus and act in His name – then it is better to do away with it, before it is too late!

We say that we are Christians, but what is it that makes us so? Is it enough that we are baptised or should there be also actions in Jesus’ name that signals a fruitful relationship with Him as well?!

“Lord, sometimes our mind works in a strange way. We see your work in what happens in life but we move according to our own way of seeing things. How often we forget about You and we go about trying to judge what is right or wrong. How often we try to prevent others from doing what You permitted them to do – as if we know everything! Lord, give us the wisdom we need and the humility to ask You for help whenever we are in danger of doing something that might lead us to become an obstacle to the little ones’ faith.  Thank You Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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