Cycle (B) 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Numb. 11:25-29; Jas. 5:1-6; Mk. 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

The conflict between good and evil is one of the precepts of the Zoroastrial faith, first enshrined by Zarathustra over 3000 years ago. It is also one of the most common conventional themes in literature, and is sometimes considered to be a universal part of the human condition.

In the Bible this battle has been vividly explained by the story Kain and Abel. Kain becomes filled with jealousy and kills his brother.

There is a battle going on in the lives of each of us, a battle between good and evil. At the end of that battle we will either hear Jesus say, "you are mine" or “Go away." Through his cross Jesus has won the battle but it is up to us now to accept his grace and live as those redeemed by Jesus. There are manifestations of grace and manifestations of evil all around us but we can take the side of Jesus in the battle for our lives by overcoming sin and


How do we overcome sin and temptation? In the Gospel Jesus said,

"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…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…if you 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…" (Mark 9:43,45,47)

Of course we do not cut off our hands or feet or pluck out our eyes. But if something is leading us into temptation and sin then we must avoid that. If one is tempted to drink avoid occasions where he is exposed to it. If you are tempted to be lazy avoid that situation and try to involve in creative actions. If one is tempted to be dishonest avoid that company and seek company of good people.

Apart from avoiding occasions of sin we can also strengthen ourselves against evil in many ways. We can pray to overcome evil. The greatest prayer is the Mass. During one of his Wednesday audiences in 1983 Pope John Paul said,

"Every Eucharistic Celebration is stronger than all the evil in the Universe. It means real, concrete accomplishment of redemption and even deeper reconciliation of sinful man with God in prospect of a better world."

Our Lady has repeatedly told us in her apparitions that the Rosary is great weapon against Satan. Holy Water is a powerful sacramental that helps protect us from evil. When a priest blesses Holy Water he asks God to protect us from evil when we use the Holy Water.

The Gospel gives a fourfold repetition of a warning: any amount of physical suffering is better than sin or causing others to sin. It is with these highly visual warnings that Mark rounds off his teaching on discipleship.

May Jesus help us to remain holy and be part of his redemptive work.