Gospel: 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. The fire itself will preserve them.
Read: Look at the differences in reaction of Joshua and Moses towards those who were prophesying outside their group. See the same difference in reaction of John and Jesus towards the one ministering outside their group. It is the kind of attitude displayed by Joshua and John that perpetuates poverty, hatred, and misery in today’s world as well.
Reflect: If religion has a bad name today and people walk away in disgust, it is because we have used religion to build walls and fences based on presumed differences, and not bridges and roads linking people up. As Mahatma Gandhi once observed, there is enough religion to hate, but not enough religion to love. The tendency to see the world in binaries of in-group and out-group creates hatred, envy, and violence. We shall learn to see the world and others through the example of Moses and Jesus who desire everyone to receive every good and be one people under one God.
Pray: Pray for unity among peoples.
Act: Read the holy scriptures of a religion other than yours and discover common ground.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018