September 26 – Twenty Sixth Sunday in ordinary Time: acknowledge the good others do

September 23rd, 2015

26thSunYearB400x277.jpg

First Reading  Numbers 11:25-29
The Lord bestows his spirit on the seventy elders.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 19:8,10,12-13,14
The Law of the Lord brings joy.

Second Reading  James 5:1-6
James chastises the rich.

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

This Sunday’s Gospel presents one of those episodes in Christ’s life which, even if they are noted, so to speak en passant, contain a profound meaning (cf. Mk 9:38-41). The event involved someone who was not a follower of Jesus but who had expelled demons in his name. The Apostle John, a young man and ardently zealous as he was, wanted to prevent him but Jesus did not permit this; on on the contrary, he drew inspiration from this circumstance to teach his disciples that God could work good and even miraculous things even outside their circle, and that it is possible to cooperate with the cause of the Kingdom of God in different ways, even by simply offering a missionary a glass of water (v. 41).St Augustine wrote in this regard: “as, therefore, there is in the Catholic — meaning the Church — something which is not Catholic, so there may be something which is Catholic outside the Catholic Church” (cf. On Baptism, Against the Donatists, PL 43, VII, 39, 77). Therefore if a stranger to the community does good works in Christ’s name, so long as he does so with upright intentions and with respect, members of the Church must not feel jealous but must rejoice. Even within the Church, people can find it difficult, in the spirit of deep communion, to value and appreciate good things achieved by the different ecclesial entities. Instead, we must all and always be able to appreciate one another, praising God for the infinite “creativity” with which he acts in the Church and in the world.