September 30, 2018: Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: Mark 9:38-41
At that time, John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.”
In today’s gospel, the apostles are having quite a bit of difficultly reconciling the actions of the man who was driving out demons. They felt it wrong, and complained that the exorcist was not a part of their community. They may have been, as well, jealous of the good that was being done, feeling only they were entitled to the exclusively of being connected to Jesus. Jesus names their feelings of rivalry, jealously and power-seeking to teach that intolerance, jealously and arrogance have no place in Gods reign.
We don’t have to look very far, to see the same scenario being played out in our world, our communities and within ourselves. We are human, and in our humanness, we struggle with jealousy, intolerance and need for control. Yet, we are challenged each day to look with a compassionate and accepting heart on ourselves and all of God’s people.
Pray for those whom you find hard to accept.
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