Pastors Desk: Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

Posted 29th September 2018 in Pastor's Desk

cross1Pastor’s Desk 30th September 2018 - Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

Today’s readings give us a stern warning against jealousy, intolerance and scandal.

In today’s Gospel John is eager to tell Jesus that they have seen a stranger who was not one of the disciples casting out devils in his name. They tried to stop his efforts. They expected Jesus to condemn the man but instead Jesus quickly tells them that they had no right to stop him because he was doing something that was essentially good and life giving.

But why would the disciples want to condemn a man who was essentially doing something that was good and that brought healing to others? Well perhaps they may have been jealous of this stranger. Maybe their own efforts to bring about healing in others had not been as successful? Jesus is quick to reprimand the disciples for their jealousy and suspicion and tells them that they should not be so narrow minded and to recognise God’s power wherever it was found.

He wanted the disciples to rejoice in the good that all others did for their fellow women and men with the words “Anyone who is not against us is for us”. In other words why condemn the man when he was doing something good.

None of us has the monopoly on God’s work, love or the power to heal. Intolerance from fear of other faiths or envy can prevent us from responding to Jesus’ primary command to love of our neighbour irrespective of their beliefs or position in life. It is through mutual respect that we find common ground with others and discover strengths in the different beliefs. Whenever or wherever we see God’s work being done we should give it our support and be ready to work together with those doing the work irrespective of their faith or not.

Fr. Gerry