26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: Green.
First Reading: Numbers 11:25-29
If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets!
The Lord came down in the Cloud. He spoke with Moses, but took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the spirit came on them they prophesied, but not again.
Two men had stayed back in the camp; one was called Eldad and the other Medad. The spirit came down on them; though they had not gone to the Tent, their names were enrolled among the rest. These began to prophesy in the camp. The young man ran to tell this to Moses, ‘Look,’ he said ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ Then said Joshua the son of Nun, who had served Moses from his youth, ‘My Lord Moses, stop them!’ Moses answered him, ‘Are you jealous on my account? If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets, and the Lord gave his Spirit to them all!’
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 18(19):8,10,12-14
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
The law of the Lord is perfect, it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted, it gives wisdom to the simple.
The fear of the Lord is holy, abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth and all of them just.
So in them your servant finds instruction; great reward is in their keeping.
But who can detect all his errors? From hidden faults acquit me.
From presumption restrain your servant and let it not rule me.
Then shall I be blameless, clean from grave sin.
Second Reading: James 5:1-6
The Lord hears the cries of those you have cheated
An answer for the rich. Start crying, weep for the miseries that are coming to you. Your wealth is all rotting, your clothes are all eaten up by moths. All your gold and your silver are corroding away, and the same corrosion will be your own sentence, and eat into your body. It was a burning fire that you stored up as your treasure for the last days. Labourers mowed your fields, and you cheated them – listen to the wages that you kept back, calling out; realise that the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. On earth you have had a life of comfort and luxury; in the time of slaughter you went on eating to your heart’s content. It was you who condemned the innocent and killed them; they offered you no resistance.
Your word is truth, O Lord: consecrate us in the truth.
Gospel: Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48
Do not stop anyone from working a miracle in my name
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.’
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
"Your word is truth; sanctify us in your love" (Gospel Acclamation, Italian Lectionary; cf. John 17: 17). This invocation, an echo of Christ's prayer to the Father after the Last Supper, seems to rise from the host of saints and blesseds whom the Spirit of God continues to raise up in his Church from generation to generation.
Today, 2,000 years since the beginning of Redemption, we make these words our own, while we have before us as models of holiness Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions, martyrs in China, María Josefa of the Heart of Jesus Sancho de Guerra, Katharine Mary Drexel and Josephine Bakhita. God the Father "sanctified them in his love", granting the request of the Son, who opened his arms on the Cross, put an end to death and revealed the resurrection, in order to win for the Father a holy people (cf. Eucharistic Prayer II, Preface).
I extend my cordial greeting to you all, dear brothers and sisters, gathered here in great numbers to express your devotion to these shining witnesses of the Gospel.
"The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart" (Responsorial Psalm). These words of the Responsorial Psalm clearly reflect the experience of Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions, martyrs in China. The testimonies which have come down to us allow us to glimpse in them a state of mind marked by deep serenity and joy.
Today the Church is grateful to her Lord, who blesses her and bathes her in light with the radiant holiness of these sons and daughters of China. Is not the Holy Year the most appropriate moment to make their heroic witness shine resplendently? Young Ann Wang, a 14-year-old, withstood the threats of the torturers who invited her to apostatize. Ready for her beheading, she declared with a radiant face: "The door of heaven is open to all", three times murmuring: "Jesus". And 18-year-old Chi Zhuzi, cried out fearlessly to those who had just cut off his right arm and were preparing to flay him alive: "Every piece of my flesh, every drop of my blood will tell you that I am Christian".
The other 85 Chinese men and women of every age and state, priests, religious and lay people, showed the same conviction and joy, sealing their unfailing fidelity to Christ and the Church with the gift of their lives. This occurred over the course of several centuries and in a complex and difficult era of China's history. Today's celebration is not the appropriate time to pass judgement on those historical periods: this can and should be done elsewhere. Today, with this solemn proclamation of holiness, the Church intends merely to recognize that those martyrs are an example of courage and consistency to us all, and that they honour the noble Chinese people.
Resplendent in this host of martyrs are also the 33 missionaries who left their land and sought to immerse themselves in the Chinese world, lovingly assimilating its features in the desire to proclaim Christ and to serve those people. Their tombs are there as if to signify their definitive belonging to China, which they deeply loved, although with their human limitations, and for which they spent all their energies. "We never wronged anyone", Bishop Francis Fogolla replied to the governor who was preparing to strike him with his sword. "On the contrary, we have done good to many". (In Chinese) God sends down happiness.
"See what you have stored up for yourselves against the last days!" (James 5: 3).
In the second reading of today's liturgy, the Apostle James rebukes the rich who trust in their wealth and treat the poor unjustly. Mother Katharine Drexel was born into wealth in Philadelphia in the United States. But from her parents she learned that her family's possessions were not for them alone but were meant to be shared with the less fortunate. As a young woman, she was deeply distressed by the poverty and hopeless conditions endured by many Native Americans and Afro-Americans. She began to devote her fortune to missionary and educational work among the poorest members of society. Later, she understood that more was needed. With great courage and confidence in God's grace, she chose to give not just her fortune but her whole life totally to the Lord.
To her religious community, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, she taught a spirituality based on prayerful union with the Eucharistic Lord and zealous service of the poor and the victims of racial discrimination. Her apostolate helped to bring about a growing awareness of the need to combat all forms of racism through education and social services. Katharine Drexel is an excellent example of that practical charity and generous solidarity with the less fortunate which has long been the distinguishing mark of American Catholics.
May her example help young people in particular to appreciate that no greater treasure can be found in this world than in following Christ with an undivided heart and in using generously the gifts we have received for the service of others and for the building of a more just and fraternal world.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 1 October 2000)
Before concluding our celebration, we turn in prayer to Mary Most Holy, who supports families with her maternal care.
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present for the Jubilee of Families. Do all you can to defend and promote the essential role of the family in society, as the natural cradle of new life, the first school of human development and of faith. God bless you with harmony and peace.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 1 October 2000)
"Preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15). With these words before the Ascension the Risen One entrusted the universal missionary mandate to the Apostles. Immediately afterwards, he assured them that in this demanding mission they would always be able to count on his help (cf. Mk 16: 20).
These same words rang out eloquently at today's solemn celebration. They constitute the message that these three new Saints renew for us: Daniel Comboni, Bishop, founder of the Congregation of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus and of the Comboni Missionary Sisters; Arnold Janssen, priest, founder of the Society of the Divine Word and of the Congregation of Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit and the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration; Joseph Freinademetz, priest, of the Society of the Divine Word.
Their lives show clearly that the proclamation of the Gospel "is the primary service which the Church can render to every individual and to all humanity" (Redemptoris Missio, n. 2). These new Saints teach us that evangelization always involves an explicit proclamation of Christ in addition to contributing to human advancement that has sometimes even proven dangerous, as the experience of so many missionaries shows. This is the example, the precious heritage that the three Saints, raised today to the glory of the altars, have bequeathed, especially to their religious families. The priority of missionary institutes is the mission "ad gentes", which must come before any other social or humanitarian commitment, however necessary.
"Go into all the world". The three Saints whom we joyfully honour today remind us of the missionary vocation of every baptized person. All Christians are sent on mission, but to be authentic witnesses of Christ, one must strive constantly for holiness (cf. Redemptoris Missio, n. 90).
Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us accept this invitation that comes to us from today's evocative celebration. May the Queen of the Saints, the Star of the New Evangelization, shine upon us from Heaven. We turn to her with trust, especially in this month of October, dedicated to the Rosary and to the missions. Mary Most Holy, Queen of Missions, pray for us!
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 5 October 2003)
At the end of this celebration, I wish to greet the numerous pilgrims who have come to pay homage to the new Saints.
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims. Inspired by the lives of the new Saints, may you be filled with joy and deepen your love of the universal Church. God bless you all!
Spiritually united to the new Saints, let us now call upon Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary, referring to the Shrine of Pompei where, God willing, I will be making a pilgrimage the day after tomorrow.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 5 October 2003)
Today, the first day of October, I would like to reflect on two aspects which characterize this month in the Ecclesial Community: the prayer of the Rosary and the commitment to the Missions. This Saturday, 7 October, we will be celebrating the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and it is as though Our Lady invites us every year to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple and so profound.
Our beloved John Paul II was a great Apostle of the Rosary: we remember him on his knees, his rosary beads in his hands, immersed in the contemplation of Christ as he himself invited us to do in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
The Rosary is a contemplative and Christocentric prayer, inseparable from meditation on Holy Scripture. It is the prayer of the Christian who advances on his pilgrimage of faith, following Jesus and preceded by Mary.
Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to invite you during this month to recite the Rosary in the family, in the community and in parishes, for the Pope's intentions, for the Church's mission and for world peace.
October is also the missionary month, and on Sunday, the 22nd, we will be celebrating World Mission Day. The Church is, by her very nature, missionary. "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you" (John 20: 21), the Risen Jesus said to the Apostles at the Last Supper.
The Church's mission is the extension of Christ's mission: to bring God's love to all, proclaiming it with words and with the concrete testimony of charity.
In my Message for the upcoming World Mission Day, I wanted to present charity precisely as "the soul of the mission". St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, wrote: "The love of Christ impels us" (II Corinthians 5: 14). May every Christian make these words his own, in the joyful experience of being a missionary of Love wherever Providence has placed him, with humility and courage, serving his neighbour with no ulterior motives and drawing strength from prayer for a cheerful and industrious charity (cf. Deus Caritas Est, nn. 32-39).
St Teresa of the Child Jesus, the Carmelite virgin and doctor of the Church whom we are commemorating this very day, is universal Co-Patroness of the Missions, together with St Francis Xavier. May she, who pointed out trusting abandonment to God's love as the "simple" way to holiness, help us to be credible witnesses of the Gospel of charity. May Mary Most Holy, Virgin of the Rosary and Queen of Missions, lead us all to Christ the Saviour.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 1 October 2006)
This word of salvation still resounds with power today, in our liturgical assembly. Jesus addresses himself lovingly to you, sons and daughters of this blessed land, in which the seed of the Gospel has been sown for over a thousand years. Your country, like other nations, is experiencing cultural conditions that often present a radical challenge to faith and therefore also to hope. In fact, in the modern age both faith and hope have undergone a “shift”, because they have been relegated to the private and other-worldly sphere, while in day-to-day public life confidence in scientific and economic progress has been affirmed (cf. Spe Salvi, 17). We all know that this progress is ambiguous: it opens up possibilities for good as well as evil. Technical developments and the improvement of social structures are important and certainly necessary, but they are not enough to guarantee the moral welfare of society (cf. ibid., 24). Man needs to be liberated from material oppressions, but more profoundly, he must be saved from the evils that afflict the spirit. And who can save him if not God, who is Love and has revealed his face as almighty and merciful Father in Jesus Christ? Our firm hope is therefore Christ: in him, God has loved us to the utmost and has given us life in abundance (cf. John 10:10), the life that every person, even if unknowingly, longs to possess.
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” These words of Jesus, written in large letters above the entrance to your Cathedral in Brno, he now addresses to each of us, and he adds: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29-30). Can we remain indifferent in the face of his love? Here, as elsewhere, many people suffered in past centuries for remaining faithful to the Gospel, and they did not lose hope; many people sacrificed themselves in order to restore dignity to man and freedom to peoples, finding in their generous adherence to Christ the strength to build a new humanity. In present-day society, many forms of poverty are born from isolation, from being unloved, from the rejection of God and from a deep-seated tragic closure in man who believes himself to be self-sufficient, or else merely an insignificant and transient datum; in this world of ours which is alienated “when too much trust is placed in merely human projects” (Caritas in Veritate, 53), only Christ can be our certain hope. This is the message that we Christians are called to spread every day, through our witness.
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 27 September 2009)
Twenty years ago, when Pope John Paul II decided to visit Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of Communist totalitarianism, he chose to being his pastoral journey in Velehrad, the place where the famous Unionist Congresses were held, those precursors of ecumenism among the Slav peoples, a place known throughout the Christian world. I am sure you also remember another of his visits, in 1995, when he went to Svatý Kopeček near Olomouc for an unforgettable meeting with young people. I should like to make my own the ideas put forward by my venerable predecessor, as I invite you to remain faithful to your Christian vocation and to the Gospel, so as to build together a future of solidarity and peace.
Moravia is blessed with a number of Marian shrines that are visited by crowds of pilgrims throughout the year. At this moment I should like to make a pilgrimage in spirit to the mountainous forest shrine of Hostýn, where you venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary as your protectress. May Mary keep the flame of faith alive in all of you, a faith that is nourished by traditions of popular piety with deep roots in the past, which you rightly take care to maintain, so that the warmth of family conviviality in villages and towns may not be lost. At times one cannot help noticing, with a certain nostalgia, that the pace of modern life tends to diminish some elements of a rich heritage of faith. Yet it is important not to lose sight of the ideal expressed by traditional customs, and above all to maintain the spiritual patrimony inherited from your forebears, to guard it and to make it answer to the needs of the present day. May the Virgin Mary assist you in this, as we renew the entrustment to her of your Church and of the entire Czech nation.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 27 September 2009)
This Sunday’s Gospel presents one of those episodes in Christ’s life which, even if they are noted, so to speak en passant, contain a profound meaning (cf. Mark 9:38-41). The event involved someone who was not a follower of Jesus but who had expelled demons in his name. The Apostle John, a young man and ardently zealous as he was, wanted to prevent him but Jesus did not permit this; on on the contrary, he drew inspiration from this circumstance to teach his disciples that God could work good and even miraculous things even outside their circle, and that it is possible to cooperate with the cause of the Kingdom of God in different ways, even by simply offering a missionary a glass of water (v. 41). St Augustine wrote in this regard: “as, therefore, there is in the Catholic — meaning the Church — something which is not Catholic, so there may be something which is Catholic outside the Catholic Church” (cf. On Baptism, Against the Donatists, PL 43, VII, 39, 77).
Therefore if a stranger to the community does good works in Christ’s name, so long as he does so with upright intentions and with respect, members of the Church must not feel jealous but must rejoice. Even within the Church, people can find it difficult, in the spirit of deep communion, to value and appreciate good things achieved by the different ecclesial entities. Instead, we must all and always be able to appreciate one another, praising God for the infinite “creativity” with which he acts in the Church and in the world.
The stream of invective of the Apostle James against the dishonest rich who rely on wealth accumulated by abuse, rings out in today’s Liturgy (cf. James 5:1-6). St Caesarius of Arles says in this regard in one of his sermons: “riches can do no harm to a good man, so long as he gives them compassionately, just as they cannot help a wicked man, so long as he keeps them greedily for himself or wastes them in dissipation” (Sermons, 35, 4). While the Apostle James’ words put us on guard against the worthless desire for material goods, they are a powerful appeal to use them with a view to solidarity and the common good, always acting with fairness and morality at all levels.
Dear friends, let us pray through the intercession of Mary Most Holy that we may be able to rejoice in every act and initiative for good without envy or jealousy and that we may use earthly goods wisely, in the constant search for heavenly goods.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 30 September 2012)
Our Father will not be outdone in generosity and he continues to scatter seeds. He scatters the seeds of his presence in our world, for “love consists in this, not that we have loved God but that he loved us” first (1 John 4:10). That love gives us the profound certainty that we are sought by God; he waits for us. It is this confidence which makes disciples encourage, support and nurture the good things happening all around them. God wants all his children to take part in the feast of the Gospel. Jesus says, “Do not hold back anything that is good, instead help it to grow!” To raise doubts about the working of the Spirit, to give the impression that it cannot take place in those who are not “part of our group”, who are not “like us”, is a dangerous temptation. Not only does it block conversion to the faith; it is a perversion of faith!
Faith opens a “window” to the presence and working of the Spirit. It shows us that, like happiness, holiness is always tied to little gestures. “Whoever gives you a cup of water in my name will not go unrewarded”, says Jesus (cf. Mark 9:41). These little gestures are those we learn at home, in the family; they get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different. They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers and grandfathers, by children, by brothers and sisters. They are little signs of tenderness, affection and compassion. Like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early lunch awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work. Homely gestures. Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day’s work. Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to grow in faith.
Jesus tells us not to hold back these little miracles. Instead, he wants us to encourage them, to spread them. He asks us to go through life, our everyday life, encouraging all these little signs of love as signs of his own living and active presence in our world.
So we might ask ourselves, today, here, at the conclusion of this meeting: How are we trying to live this way in our homes, in our societies? What kind of world do we want to leave to our children (cf. Laudato Si’, 160)? We cannot answer these questions alone, by ourselves. It is the Spirit who challenges us to respond as part of the great human family. Our common house can no longer tolerate sterile divisions. The urgent challenge of protecting our home includes the effort to bring the entire human family together in the pursuit of a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change (cf. ibid., 13). May our children find in us models and incentives to communion, not division! May our children find in us men and women capable of joining others in bringing to full flower all the good seeds which the Father has sown!
Pointedly, yet affectionately, Jesus tells us: “If you, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). How much wisdom there is in these few words! It is true that, as far as goodness and purity of heart are concerned, we human beings don’t have much to show! But Jesus knows that, where children are concerned, we are capable of boundless generosity. So he reassures us: if only we have faith, the Father will give us his Spirit.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 27 September 2015)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
This Publication is aimed to encourage all of Goodwill around the World. It is not for business or profit purposes but it is our way to thank our Creator for His continuous blessings!
Compiled on 30 September 2018