26th Sunday of Year B


In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis writes about the spirit of lust, depicted as a lizard, being transformed by God into a majestic stallion. “It is only when our natural life is killed that it can be raised from the dead,” writes Father Hawkswell. (Public domain)



If your hand, foot, or eye “causes you to stumble, cut it off” or “tear it out,” Jesus said in this Sunday’s Gospel Reading; “it is better for you to enter life maimed” than to have a whole body and end up in hell.

The Second Reading implies the same: if your wealth causes you to stumble, give it away; it is better for you to enter life poor than to be rich and to go to hell. As Jesus warned, “it is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Jesus is not commanding self-mutilation. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, the Fifth Commandment forbids amputation and mutilation (including sterilization) except for strictly therapeutic reasons. To understand what Jesus said, recall that after baptism, we live with two kinds of life: natural and supernatural. Natural life is the kind we get from our parents by birth. Supernatural life is the kind God lives in the Holy Trinity. By birth, we have only natural life. To acquire supernatural life, we must be born again, this time with God as our Father and the Church as our mother, so that we become Jesus’ siblings.

Fr. Michael Chua



Some have called it a schism (a sin that breaks the unity of the Church). Others have called it a civil war. Call it what you may, it is quite clear to many, both within and outside the Catholic Church, that she is deeply split and fragmented with not just a binary but a multifaceted factionalism, made out of various factions who often adopt irreconcilable positions that are diagonally opposed to each other.  Modern and secular commentators often see it as a rift between left and right, liberal and conservative. To those who believe that they are defending the Sacred Tradition of the Church and her Magisterium, it is a fight between orthodoxy and heresy, plain and simple. To progressives, it boils down to either supporting or opposing the reform of Vatican II. It is indeed painful and saddening to witness the Body of Christ wounded by this, a Body that has been further scarred by the sexual abuse scandal, with various camps blaming the other for the mess.

Some say that it all boils down to the question of what can or should be tolerated and what is intolerable. Now the word “tolerance,” though quite common in modern parlance, is hardly featured in any official Church teaching. Furthermore, the modern concept of tolerance is also problematic, being a kind of oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. For example, tolerance seems to suggest accepting without judgment “all and sundry”, but that isn’t the case. Tolerance stops at the point where someone else disagrees with my idea of tolerance. Thus, the many factions within the Church often tolerate a great deal of nonsense by those whom they judge as either allies or who share their own ideological positions, but would tolerate nothing from the other camp even though the “other” side is capable of doing something objectively good. It is not too far from the truth to state that the Gospel of Tolerance is often quite intolerant, especially to those who do not share similar sentiments, preferences, and theological positions.

Fr. Austin Fleming



You have probably read or heard about the recent discovery of a scrap of papyrus, believed to be from the 4th century, on which is a partially legible text, described by experts as clumsy handwriting, penned with a blunt instrument.

This fragment of ancient paper is smaller than a standard business card, and on it can be read only these broken phrases:

not to me. My mother gave to me life…
The disciples said to Jesus…
deny. Mary is worthy of it…
Jesus said to them, “My wife…
Let the wicked people swell up…
As for me, I dwell with her in order to…
my mother… three… forth which…

And for many, and certainly for the media, these words are enough to raise again the question of whether or not Jesus was married.

Material like this teases and tickles the imagination of believers and non-believers alike. For some it’s a matter of curiosity, for others it feeds the doubt and mistrust they already have for the church.

Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino



Today’s readings lead us to a discussion of a topic that is pertinent to our present times in the United States.  Although the media tries to paint a different picture, the fact is that many people in our country go to a Church or worship in a synagogue, mosque or temple, etc.  The media may be agnostic or even atheistic, but the vast majority of the people are not.  Just look at the area where you come from, North Pinellas or South Pasco.  Consider how many places of worship you passed as you came to Mass this morning.

The plurality of various faith traditions leads us to a deeper consideration of the first reading from Numbers 11 and the first part of today’s Gospel from Mark 9. In Numbers Moses was told to summon 70 leaders to the Meeting tent to receive a portion of the Spirit he had been given.  68 did go to that Tent, received the Spirit, and began prophesying.  However, the other two leaders, Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp and were not in the tent.  Still they also received the Spirit and began to prophesy. So, they were not among those with Moses in the Tent but still received the Spirit of prophecy.  When this was brought to Joshua’s attention, he wanted Moses to stop them.  Moses wouldn’t because he could see that their preaching was authentic, they had the power, the authority of the Spirit of God.

 In the same way in our own times, there are many people of many faiths whose preaching is authentic.  They may not be part of the Catholic Church, they may not even be Christian, but they still have a share of the Holy Spirit.

Fr. George Smiga



Sometimes the things that most endanger us appear to us as normal and acceptable. Sometimes the greatest threats to our lives are the things that seem a part of our very selves. Therefore the thought of leaving those things behind is unthinkable, impossible for us to imagine. It is for this reason that Jesus uses such shocking language in today’s Gospel. He suggests that we cut off our hand or our foot or pluck out our eye. Jesus knows that at times there are things in our life that need to end. And even though it seems like we are cutting off a piece of ourselves, refusing to take that step would endanger something of even greater value.

We might love our work. We might thrill to the excitement of accomplishing things and finding success in our job. But if the energy and time that we put into our work begins to strangle our relationship with our spouse and our children, then we might need to change our job or at least the way that we do it. That possibility might seem like eliminating a very part of ourselves. Yet it would be better to do that than to continue to work full throttle and lose our family in the process. There may be somebody in our life who consistently manipulates us and tears us down. It could be a relative, a friend, perhaps even a parent. If, after repeated attempts to correct that relationship, we realize that this person will never change, we might have to sever ties with the one who hurts us. Although that might seem like tearing out the fabric of our lives, it would be worse to find ourselves sinking into depression or losing our mental health. We might recognize that we have an addiction to alcohol, to drugs, to excessive overeating. It might become clear that if we are to remain healthy we need to stop the addiction. To stop, however, might seem impossible, like cutting off our hand. Yet it would worse to let that addiction control us and possibly destroy us.

Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ



The problem of riches is one of the great secrets in capitalist Christianity. The truth would be too hard to bear. Popes and bishops might he padded in comfort, surrounded by silver and gold. And we ourselves are probably members of the wealthiest church in the most dazzling culture of the world.

Our television evangelizers are so intent on our money, they dare not condemn it. In fact, if you spend a month of Sundays listening to the preachers, it would seem as if Jesus never said a mumblin’ word about money. Proclaimers of the gospel are easily trapped. As one very wealthy man once said to me: “You better not love the poor too much. If you do, who’s going to give you the money to keep going?”

Money may be our biggest difficulty. Marx called it our “jealous god,” who can tolerate no other deity. “Only in money will my soul be at rest, in cash is my hope and salvation. It alone is my rock of safety, my stronghold, my glory.”

Money has immense power. It is almost sacramental. It gets us acceptance into the real world. It seems to clean the most vile acts. The very possession of it sanitizes us. The most loathsome behaviors are rendered “cool,” if not splendid. Whether we are murderers, usurers, abusers of women and children, dope pushers, money can still get us limousines and drivers. No matter what we have done, hangers-on will mouth their “yes” to us, hoping for a tip, a nod of beneficence. It provides entry into the most select of clubs. It buys life and death, bodies and body parts. It purchases persons.

26th Sunday of Year B

The Pittsburgh Oratory & Catholic Newman Center
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Homily for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time preached by Father David Abernethy, C.O. at The Pittsburgh Oratory.

Cardinal Tagle


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Fr. William Nicholas


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WEBSITE: Fides Nostra

John Michael Talbot


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PLAYLIST: Year Cycle B – Sunday Gospel Reflections



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Homily for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B 2021 by Fr Emmanuel Ochigbo

26th Sunday of Year B



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Sunday Homilies

SEPT 26, 2021 | SEPT 30, 2018 | SEPT 27, 2015 | SEPT 30, 2012 | SEPT 27, 2009

26th Sunday of Year B

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Friends, let us rejoice whenever the grace of God is on display. The point of the sacraments is so that God’s grace may flood the world, but the Lord can operate outside of our formal structures. He desires these gifts for us, but as the creator of these structures, he is never limited by them.

Sunday Podcast Archive


by Bishop Robert Barron . September 30, 2018

Our first reading from the Book of Numbers and the Gospel reading from Mark both highlight a very interesting spiritual predicament, one that is presented numerous times throughout the Bible. It might be summed up as the inclination for members of the Church to subvert the mission of the Church because of their own ego-driven desires and preoccupations.


by Bishop Robert Barron . October 1, 2006

Jesus certainly manages to get our attention in this week’s Gospel. Don’t literalize his language, but feel its power. Are you willing to eliminate certain things from your life–ways of grasping, ways of walking, ways of seeing–that are compromising your friendship with God? What, precisely, are you willing to sacrifice?


by Bishop Robert Barron . September 28, 2003

The structures of the Catholic religion are deeply rooted in the tradition and flow, ultimately, from the will of God. They are the ordinary channels through which the divine grace flows. However, as the Gospel for today clearly indicates, God is not restricted by the institutions and structures that he himself established, and so his grace can operate even outside of the official church. Whatever is good, true, and beautiful in culture, society or other religions is, indirectly related to Christ and thus should not be suppressed or despised.

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We’re all hyper-distracted, pulled in so many directions from our phones, to TV, to social media. We’re plagued by notifications, texts, pings, and alerts. Why do we put up with all these distractions? How can we avoid them? Bishop Barron shares how to fight back and find pleasure in “useless things.”

Recent Podcasts

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26th Sunday of Year B

Father Frank Pavone
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Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, shares thoughts on preaching pro-life on the 26th Sunday of Year B. For more pro-life tips, resources and updates, visit



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The Word of God calls us to have a “non-territorial” attitude. Today’s First Reading and Gospel passage both illustrate that if the Lord has given us a mission, we should rejoice when we find others doing the same mission, rather than having a “turf war” with them. This applies to ministries throughout the Church, and in reference to the pro-life mission, Pope St. John Paul II addressed this point in “The Gospel of Life” when he declared, “No single person or group has a monopoly on the defense and promotion of life. These are everyone’s task and responsibility. On the eve of the Third Millennium, the challenge facing us is an arduous one: only the concerted efforts of all those who believe in the value of life can prevent a setback of unforeseeable consequences for civilization” (n. 91).

In regard to that Pro-life mission, furthermore, the second part of today’s Gospel passage represents one of the rationales by which we call people to great sacrifice to protect and preserve life, whether of the unborn, the terminally ill and disabled, or anyone else. To directly take the life of another innocent person is to commit the kind of offense against God that the Lord commands us to avoid at all costs. In the case of abortion, it may not be one’s hand or eye that leads to sin, but rather one’s friends or other relationships. What young, scared, pregnant mothers fear they will lose by choosing life is usually far less than they imagine. But whatever the cost, when faced with making a sacrifice or sacrificing another, the Lord clearly tells us the right road.


General Intercessions

Celebrant: With sincere hearts, we present our needs and the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ to our heavenly Father.


That the prayer and worship of the Church may inspire her members to live their faith more fully each day, we pray to the Lord.

That the pope, bishops, priests and religious may be encouraged by the Spirit as they teach all people around the world the Good News, we pray to the Lord.

That Christians everywhere will embrace their call to seek greater justice in our world, where the life, dignity and rights of the born and unborn are respected and defended, we pray to the Lord.

For attorneys, judges, and all who work in our courts, that they may grow in wisdom and in their commitment to justice tempered with mercy, we pray to the Lord…

That those who have died believing in Christ may enjoy the glory of the heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord.

Celebrant: God of mercy, you know all our needs and you sustain us in your service. We thank you for your faithfulness and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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On Voting…

“In a democratic society citizens choose whom they vest with authority for the common good. A choice for one person over another for public office can significantly affect many lives, especially the lives of the most vulnerable persons in society, such as children in the womb and those who are terminally ill. Therefore, Catholic citizens have a serious moral obligation to exercise their right to vote, whether on the national, state or local level” (Bishops of Kansas, “Moral Principles for Catholic Voters,” August 15, 2006).

SOURCE: Priests for Life

Life Issues Homilies website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

To each his own

Al Carino

The Spirit of God blows where it chooses. No individual or religious leader, civic or religious organization, has a monopoly of good. And the sooner we realize this and get out of our exclusivist shells, the sooner we can all work together to make this world a better place to live in.

The Name

Antonio P. Pueyo

In order not to pronounce the name of God in vain, the Israelites substitute other appellations for the sacred name such as the Lord or the Most High. We have to recover the sacredness of the name of divinity. In cultures where vulgarity is employed as cheap substitute for linguistic propriety, it is a form of counter-cultural witness to honor and protect the name of the Lord.

Grain, Garment, Gold

Antonio P. Pueyo

Using the semitic forceful rhetorical device of hyperbole to bring home His point, His words are unforgettable. If anyone causes these little ones to sin, better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God maimed than to go to hell (Gehenna) complete.

Give them Hell!

Douglas P. McManaman

Synopsis: Hell is one of the greatest signs of God’s love for us. He loves us so much that He will allow us to reject Him for all eternity.

A mighty deed for “the little ones”

Tom Bartolomeo

Parents can find help raising their children in the faith outside the usual sources. All it takes is determination and faith.

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

Proclaim Sermons

When the apostle John catches others healing others in the name of Jesus, he tries to put a stop to it, but Jesus will have none of it. We are on the same side. God’s audacious aim is to save the whole world. Therefore, whoever is not against us is for us. Isn’t it just like God to be merciful and hopeful about everyone? Including us. website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

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