Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
John said to him, “Master, we saw someone who drove out demons by calling upon your name, and we tried to forbid him because he does not belong to our group.” Jesus answered, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in my name can soon after speak evil of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.
If anyone gives you a drink of water because you belong to Christ and bear his name, truly, I say to you, he will not go without reward.
If anyone should cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble and sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a great millstone around his neck.
If your hand makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a hand than with two hands to go to hell, to the fire that never goes out. And if your foot makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a foot than with both feet to be thrown into hell.
And if your eye makes you fall into sin, tear it out! It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than, keeping both eyes, to be thrown into hell where the worms that eat them never die, and the fire never goes out.”
READ: John reported to Jesus that some began to use His name in casting out demons and they tried to forbid one of them in doing so because they didn’t belong to the group. Jesus did not mind and assured His disciples that those who invoke His name will not destroy His works. Then He proceeded to teach them again on various things that merit rewards and punishments.
REFLECT: We are jealous sometimes of our relationships and possessions, so much so that we want to have exclusive claim to them. The disciples were not immune to this very human feeling. They expressed and manifested it to their Teacher who in turn patiently schooled them into the kind of love that is not limited by boundaries. This band of brothers who professed their faith in Him were the only ones willing to stick it out with Him. Jesus called them by name. And so amidst their insecurities and weaknesses, Jesus did not give up on them. He moved forward with them believing in them that someday, they would truly learn and live the teachings of their Master.
RESPOND: What provokes my jealousy and envy? Human as these feelings are, still we are called to have control over ourselves. Acknowledging the sources of our envy and jealousy is the first step towards overcoming them.
PRAY: Lord, help me to realize that what I have is already amazing. May I be too busy thanking you for all that is given me so that I will have no time to think of the things I lack. Amen.
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