Gospel Reflections

26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Maureen O'Brien

Published: September 27, 2015


One of my prized possessions is a Douay Version of the Bible with a disintegrating, fake leather cover. The reason it means so much to me is because of its original owner. On the front page, in very spidery handwriting, are the words, “For use of Dorothy Day, 115 Mott Street, New York.”  When I open her and now my bible, I am grateful for the handwritten notes, the red pencil lines along scriptural passages, as well as her interesting collection of very old holy cards. They give me a glimpse into the spiritual life of a remarkable woman.

Recently, I opened it and started to reflect on this week’s Gospel, Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48. John reports to Jesus that someone is driving out demons in his name. To John, this is not how it should be, because the man is not one of them, that is, he is not either Jesus or one of the disciples. John expects Jesus to pat him on the back for "getting it.”  That does not happen! Anyone, Jesus says, anyone “who performs a mighty deed in my name or gives you a cup of water in my name” is for me, not against me and deserves a reward. There are not an “us and them” in the kingdom. Being a follower of Jesus is about inclusivity, not exclusion.

What amazing things for Jesus to say and for us to read and practice. He calls us to move beyond the barriers of divisiveness which generate so much hatred and violence in our religious, personal and civic relationships. No “us or them” in the kingdom! The invitation to do good in Jesus’ name calls for a mighty WE!

 

 

 

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