October 1, 2006
Opening Life Reflection
Allow time for discussion. Jesus did want people to feel left out or unwelcome. He worked very hard to show acceptance and love toward everyone.
Listening to the Word of God
Read Numbers 11:25-29.
Scripture Discussion Starters
In the gospel reading Jesus does not put a stop to people doing good works in his name.
Read Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48.
• What did John and the other disciples see?
In the reading from the Old Testament we see how the Spirit of God is given wherever God wills. The gift of God's Spirit is not given because people earn it through good behavior. The Spirit is given simply because that is what God wants to do. In today's reading the Spirit of God is placed upon seventy elders who then go around speaking about God and heavenly things. This concerns Joshua who is Moses' assistant. Joshua does not want other people to receive God's gifts because they were not there when the spirit of God was first given. Moses does not agree with his assistant. Moses says that it would be great for the Spirit of God to rest upon all the people of the Lord.
In the gospel Jesus tells his disciples that they should not keep other people from using his name to do good works. Jesus did not want his friends to think that they were part of a special group that left other people out. In the gospel reading we hear that John is concerned about someone who is using Jesus' name to cast out demons. Jesus makes it clear that anyone who does good works in his name should not be stopped.
Today's gospel also describes the seriousness of making choices that turn us away from God. When we make choices that hurt other people, or ourselves we damage our relationship with God. In the gospel reading Jesus talks about cutting off those things that make us sin. He does this to get our attention because Jesus wants us to know that there is nothing worse than sin because it keeps us from God.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
(If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.)
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Catholics also value work. People have been given talents by God to help create a better world. Everyone should have the opportunity to work. This includes men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants. We should not do anything to keep people from getting work. Catholic social teaching makes it clear that we were not created alone but together. Together we make up the family of God. As part of God's family we work together to make God's love known throughout the world.
• Are there some people who are treated unfairly because of their physical appearance? Explain.
The Gospel in Life
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition