26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Home > Pastor's Blog > 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Some of us go through life without ever joining a group or a club. Some people take pride in their membership of a whole range of different groupings. Joining a particular group, religious, political or social can enlarge our world and introduce us to new people and possibilities. It can help us to move within relatively secure network of relationships.
That sense of belonging is important to our identity. Membership is a proof of how others accept and recognize how we see ourselves. Rejection is a clear signal of disapproval.

In today’s gospel, the disciples of Jesus refuse to recognize someone casting out demon in Jesus’ name because he did not belong to their group or company. John appeals to Jesus: “Teacher we saw a man casting out demon in your name and we tried to stop him because he was not following us”. The man has been successful in his ministry and that success clearly worries the disciples of Jesus.

The disciples were obviously threatened by the outsider’s success because they were not successful. Here we remember a story of man who appealed to Jesus’ disciples to free his son from a spirit of dumbness. This anxious father told Jesus; “I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to do it” Are they apprehensive about being displaced? Do they see ministry in terms of rivalry? It is as if their own esteem will be reinforced if outsider is rejected.  But Jesus refused to do that.

Instead, he invites his small group to a larger vision of God’s goodness. He commands his followers to leave the outsider in peace. Jesus says, “Anyone who is not against us is for us” Thus He recognizes and confirms the good work done by a man. He so, as to say, welcomes and appreciates people who do good and they will surely not lose their reward.

Jesus calls on each one of us to be tolerant. Christian tolerance is not a weakness or a lazy acceptance of whatever movement that happens to be in vogue. Christian tolerance is a reverence for the truth that is always larger than us. We must respect and appreciate people who come forward and do well for people.

Let us therefore not prevent anyone doing good because they do not belong to our Christian community. On the contrary let us encourage everyone to cast out the demon of evils of our time from the face of the earth, so that we can live in peace and harmony.

May God bless you!

Fr. Chris