. A reading from the holy Gospel of Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
"Teacher," said John, "we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. "If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where "'the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.'
REFLECTION: "For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. "
In the Readings : Numbers 11:27, God took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and gave it to 70 elders and later included two that had not been there with them. Some complained to Moses that the latter two were not part of their group and they should be stopped from evangelizing. But God had given them the Holy Spirit.
In the Gospel we see a similar thing happen. The apostles are angry, envious and suspicious of those who are not part of their intimate group. These people were driving out demons in the Name of Jesus. The apostles, too, wanted Jesus to stop them. But God knew they were doing His work.
Do we get upset when someone shines more than we? Are we jealous of anothers spiritual gifts? I need to remember that "love is not jealous..." (Corinthians 13:4, 6).
The absolute and essential thing is that Christ needs to be known and loved. We should not envy or feel inferior to those who are also in this journey but who have been given more gifts to share. God, in his generosity to us, has allowed us all to have different gifts and to work His will through us. We must remember that there are many ways of drawing people to the Lord.
All will know that we are disciples of Christ by the love we have for one another. So no gossiping, no criticism, no demanding our way or we quit...no, no, no!! We need only love
All Christians are called to spread the Good News--whether our calling is in our work place, school, home, play ground, beauty shop, doctors office, church, our social life or on the streets--we are not exempt from sharing God's love with anyone that God has placed in our life, the person (s) who will become part of our lives' journey if but for a few minutes or for a lifetime.
Everyone we meet has a claim on our lives because they were made in the image and likeness of God. It will not be easy sometimes, as we face persecution, ridicule, criticism, culpability and doubt. But God will transform our hearts so we can treat all with mercy, love and kindness.
So as Jesus said, "any kindness shown and any help given to those in need will not lose its reward". Let us live in the expectation of God's eternal rewards. What will be our reward from the Lord if we bring many souls to him?
Prayer: Dearest Lord, please transform my heart and show me the value of each person I meet and allow the Holy Spirit to come into my life so that I can share you with others. Amen
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