Lord, may the fountain of your blessings lay open before us,
By your grace show us you mercy
And make us sharers in your glory,
This Sunday the readings have profound meaning than a concrete narration can expose. However, let us pray for the Chinese Catholics who are about to be included in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Let us remember in our prayers the synod 2018 on YOUNG PEOPLE, THE FAITH, AND VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT from 3-28 October(Next Month) that young people and their needs may be listened to and be included in our national, economic and pastoral programs.
In the Gospel today someone who is not a follower of Jesus who had expelled demons in Jesus’ name is criticized by John the Apostle and he zealously wanted to prevent this person but Jesus stopped him (John).
In the first reading the young man runs to tell Moses about two other men who shared the power of prophesying in the camp and Joshua wants Moses to stop them.
These two events (Numbers 11:25-29 and Mark 9:38-48) and the answer given by Jesus and Moses help us to focus our reflection today on the following maladies in our Christian life.
- How often are we motivated by jealousy and it blocks us from receiving others who do not belong to our clique, circle or community.
- How we exclude others thinking that we are better than them and that we possess the truth they do not have. St Augustine speaks to us with the following words: “there is in the Catholic Church something which is not Catholic and so, there may be something which is Catholic outside the Catholic Church” (On Baptism, against Donatists, Pl 43, VII 39, 77). This summons us to think of something communal outside our communities that we cherish. Can you remember the arguments between Dominicans and Franciscans who is better than the other? The deeds of faith precede the words of faith.
- How good are we at appreciating other ecclesial communities and their initiatives towards human development?
- How is our view of ecumenism and recognition of what is good in others?
- The need to overcome the pride of feeling ourselves better or superior to others but instead become little ones to avoid becoming or causing obstacles to others faith, life and success.
These aspects and many others are pointers of who we are as we call ourselves Christians/followers of Christ today.
The closed mentality exposed by St. James today in the second reading is an obstacle to faith. It is thoughtful that riches do not harm a good person so long as the person gives with love and does not become an obstacle to others life, faith or success, and at the same time riches cannot help a wicked person because of the greed one keeps for him/herself which is a big obstacle to reaching out to others.
We are about to start the Month of October and next Sunday we shall celebrate the first Sunday of the Month of Rosary and mission. A closed heart can never be a heart of mission and prayer. A closed mentality or attitude cannot foster vocations of any kind but it will be an obstacle and huge burden to the already existing vocations.
The exclusive attitude can prevent us from becoming missionary Disciples of inclusivity, solidarity and prayer. The mission entails building bridges for economic and human progress and not oppression of the poor, rethinking our baptismal promises and our good participation in the sacramental life. It includes advancing truth which is greater than us and opening ourselves to others as Christians and ministers and obviating anything that prevents us from seeing others as they are and promoting the good in them for the kingdom of God.