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 Discussion Questions
Twenty-Sixth Sunday
of Ordinary Time
September 30, 2018
Anne Osdieck

First Reading
Numbers 11:25-29

1. Joshua wanted Moses to stop Eldad and Medad’s prophesying because they didn’t follow the rules. Can you relate to this kind of problem?  Is Moses’ response in this reading related to Jesus’ response in the Gospel? How?

2. Does the Spirit work in religions other than your own? Ever? Always? What might the Spirit be doing in them? Do gifts in other people help you see what God might be doing through them? If the origin of a gift is not clearly the Spirit, would “By their fruits you shall know them.” be a good test?

Second Reading

James 5:1-6

1. Wages withheld from the harvesters cry aloud to the Lord of hosts, James says. How does his message apply today to arguments for federal minimum wage hike or for buying Fair Trade coffee? Or beefing up laws that would end human trafficking?

2. James says that the rich got their wealth at the expense of the poor.  How would the harvesters in the reading feel this? How would humane treatment from the rich relate to a living wage? To profound respect?

Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

1. What was Jesus’ response to the idea that no one outside the inner circle was to minister in his name? Can anyone lay exclusive claim to the reign of God as Jesus revealed it?

2. The good every person does should be accepted, Pope Francis says below. How far does he go in accepting good works from others?

  “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do well.’ The disciples were a little intolerant, closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” This was wrong. ... Jesus broadens the horizon, reminding us that the Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and he does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us.

The objection is swift: ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. ... The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.

America, A Papal Cure for Intolerance, May 24 2013

Anne Osdieck
Art by Martin (Steve) 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