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25th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Year B
September 19, 2021
Anne Osdieck
First Reading
Wisdom 2:12, 17-20

1. “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us, he sets himself against our doings.” These are the words of “the wicked.” But if you were to speak out against unjust “doings” might you be considered obnoxious? Does that stop you?

2. Who are the “just ones” who endure persecution by the wicked ones? Is there and injustice that “tries your patience”? What “doings” would you like to speak out against? Racial injustice? Trafficking? Eco-injustice? Poverty?

Second Reading

James 3:16-4:3

1. Where does ambition for power and greatness lead? What does it do to a country? To a business? To a Church? Is there a way to cultivate peace?

2. St. James asks, “ ... where do the conflicts among you come from?” In today’s Gospel the disciples had been arguing and “discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest.” Do you think their discussion could have ended in anything but conflict? Why?

Mark 9:30-37

1. Jesus tells the disciples that in order to rank first, they should be the servants of all. Who would you serve if you could? Where do you think your church ranks in taking care of people in need? Where would you rank yourself? 

2. In this homily, who does Pope Francis say are the greatest in the Church? How does his answer to this question relate to Jesus’ answer to the disciples in Gospel question #!?

Who is the most important in the Church? The Pope, the bishops, the monsignors, the cardinals, the pastors of the most beautiful parishes, the presidents of lay associations? No! The greatest in the Church are those who make themselves servants of all, those who serve everyone, not those who have titles.

And to help us understand this, he took a child and placed him in their midst; and embracing him with tenderness—because Jesus spoke with tenderness, he had so much of it—he said to them, “whoever receives a child, receives me.” That is, whoever welcomes the most humble, is the one who serves the most. This is the path. There is only one path against the spirit of the world: humility. Serving others, choosing the last place, not climbing the ladder.

Greatness in the Church comes from service
Pope Francis, Mass at Casa Marta
Feb. 25, 2020

Anne Osdieck

Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go