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Today’s Scripture readings give us a strong warning against jealousy, intolerance and scandal. In the first reading, we find jealousy, in its destructive form of envy, raising its ugly head in Moses’ assistant and successor, Joshua. In the second reading, James warns the rich against giving scandal by their denial of social justice to their workers in refusing to give them a living wage, by ignoring the needs of others and by condemning and murdering the innocent and the righteous. In the Gospel, we find intolerance among the apostles of Christ. John complained to Jesus that a man outside their group of selected disciples was exorcising demons in Jesus’ Name, in spite of their attempt to prevent him from doing so. Jesus taught the Apostles lessons in his kind of tolerance and in the reward to be given to outsiders for good deeds they had done for the disciples of Jesus. We also hear the strong warning of Jesus against giving scandal, especially to innocent children, vulnerable members of the community and beginners in the Faith. Jesus warned the Apostles, and us, that, just as a doctor might remove by surgery a limb or some part of the body in order to preserve the life of the whole body, so we must be ready to part with anything that causes us or others to sin and which leads to spiritual death.

Excerpted from the homily of Fr Tony Kadavil available at