For us . . .

September 27, 2012 at 11:02 Leave a comment

In today’s Gospel Story (Mark 9:38-48) Jesus’ disciples are upset because some others, not part of “the group”, were doing good things in Jesus’ name. In the First Reading, the Spirit of God comes upon two men who were not part of “the group”, and the elders were upset. In both cases those who were upset get the word that they do not have the only track to God or to Jesus.

(There are some other thoughts on this at     )

On our journey we may come to realize we do not know what God is doing in others. We do not understand others’ journey, even as they do not understand ours. Our journey is precisely our journey, and, while we might share it with others from time to time, it is our journey, and no one can make it for us. We cannot inflict our journey on others, as they cannot inflict theirs on us. These days we are all only too aware of what suffering is caused  when any of us think our way is the only way for others always and everywhere. We can offer others our help and wisdom, even our tradition, but we cannot demand that they accept it.

In the Story Jesus talks about the importance of getting rid of whatever might be keeping us from going “deeper” with him. It is easy to become so attached to ideas, practices, etc, that they become our idols and keep us from moving ahead freely. They cause us to sin, to get off the track, to miss the mark. The journey with Christ is not for lightweights. From step to step we have no idea where he is calling us to walk with him or what he is calling us to do. Our focus has to be our daily time with Christ, and our willingness to go wherever this takes us. In military terms we have to be a rapid reaction force, traveling light, always ready to go wherever we have to and doing well whatever we have to do.

The Story tells us we have to makes choices as we go ahead on our journey. When we find something in us that is keeping us back, we have to choose whether or not to get rid of it, to cut it off. In choosing one thing, often we  have to “unchoose” something else. When we decide on one course of action, we may have to rule out others that are not compatible. This can be difficult, both in terms of our internal awareness, and in terms of others in our life who do not understand our values and choices. Yet, the Story is quite clear.  It might be that the most important gift we bring to our relationships and daily life is our quiet time with Christ.

In the Opening Prayer we pray that we bring God’s pardon and kingdom to all we meet. Often we have our own ideas of how others ought to do things, and we don’t pay much attention to ourselves. Our prayer and the scriptures are about us and how we are called to live, not what we should tell other people to do. It is easier to look at others and judge than to look at ourselves and make needed corrections. The Story does not tell us to make changes in other people’s lives, but to look at our own and cut off whatever is keeping us back. We do not bring God’s pardon and kingdom by judging, but by loving people and accepting them as they are.


Entry filed under: Catholic, Gospel thoughts.

Gospel Thoughts, 16 September 2012

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