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.”
The temptation to separate the people from Jesus doesn’t come from an external force, which is against Jesus, it comes from His own close associates, John. This is a great temptation which is the actuality of the day. Many of us like to form a supporting group, very often at the determination of the other, and the worst is for or against in the name God and Good of the other. Though apparently, there is no inherent harm to this approach, there is a great danger of segregation.
If we look at the life of Jesus very closely, we can easily understand that the fulfillment of the divine will was his joy and priority. He wishes that each and every one of us work in this direction, not alone but together. In this principle, Jesus believes that even pagans are capable of doing the divine will, and acting in a Christian way without having openly declared or professed faith in Jesus Christ.
In essence they are God's children, and Jesus invites us to recognize them and associate them with us. Jesus did not come to separate us, but to gather us together as his children. Lord, help me to recognize the good, even in my adversaries. May I be a person who gathers your people, Amen.
Action of the day: Be a person of unity.
“Whoever is not against us is for us”
Fr. David CODINA i Pérez
(Puigcerdà, Gerona, Spain)
Today, we hear a recrimination against the apostle John who sees people doing good in the name of Christ but without being one of His disciples: “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” (Mk 9:38). Jesus gives us the proper look that we must have before these people; welcome them and wide our horizons with humble spirit to be always in communion with them, sharing the same faith, going the same direction, that is, walking together on the path to the perfection of God's love for us and love for one another.
This way of living our vocation as one “Church” invites us to review in a peaceful and serene manner the coherence with which we live this openness from Christ. If there are others who annoy us because they do the same as we do, this means that the Love of Christ has not fully permeated us in all its depth. He asks us for the humility to accept that we are unable to consume the full wisdom and love of God. We have to accept that we are the ones Christ has chosen to let all mankind know that humility is the way to get closer to God.
Jesus went about his task since his Incarnation, when He brings us the majesty of God as close as possible in the smallness of the poor. Saint John Chrysostom says: “For He was not satisfied even with death and the Cross only, but He took up with becoming poor also, and a stranger, and a beggar, and naked, and being thrown into prison, and undergoing sickness, that so at least He might call you off.” If Christ did not miss any opportunity for we can live love with others, let us not miss the opportunity to accept those who live their vocation to be part of the Church in a different way from us, for “whoever is not against us is for us” (Mk 9:40).