John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mk 9:38-40)
Our human nature? It tends to want to be in charge, to be noticed, to be the best. It also tends to make us not want to share.
As children, we share poorly.
Oh, sure, we are pretty good when it comes to take and using the things that belong to others. However, when asked to reciprocate, we cling to our possessions rather tightly.
What we do as children, we tend to do as adults. We hold on tightly to what is ours while grasping for what belongs to others.
In today’s Gospel, John told Jesus that they tried to stop someone who was driving out demons in Jesus name.
I can only imagine the look of surprise and, perhaps, frustration on the face of Jesus. There was probably that “When are these guys going to understand” expression as He told John, “Whoever is not against us is with us.”
There are several times in the Gospels when, because of something that they apostles said or did, we get the feeling that they felt they had a “lock” on Jesus’ Kingdom. At those times, Jesus would remind them that the Kingdom belongs to everybody.
That is good for us to remember today.
If they are not against us, they are with us.
We have partners in the faith.
That should give us great consolation and hope. After all, we are not in this alone.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for all of our “partners in the faith” that they have the grace that they need today to be witnesses to the Lord.