Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
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.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.”
John seems to be jealous of the one who was driving out demons in the name of Jesus. Jesus sees the one driving out the demons as building up the Kingdom, not diminishing it. Building up the Kingdom is rewarded. What is more important is that anyone who diminishes the Kingdom by causing another to sin finds himself condemned to Gehenna. This is a warning to us that we are responsible for our actions. If any of those actions causes another to sin there will be repercussions. It is better to encourage everyone in the love of Jesus and the salvation of their souls.
Consider what it is you can do to build up the reign of God and encourage those who are on this journey of faith.