When Jesus’ disciples try to stop others from doing ministry in his name, Jesus tells them “whoever is not against us is for us.” Doug Jones, SJ, reflects on this message and the challenge to foster unity instead of division. Based on the readings for Sunday, September 26, 2021.
“If you’re not with us, you’re against us!” Or is it the other way around…?
Hi, I’m Doug Jones, and this is my One Minute Reflection.
In our readings today, both Moses and Jesus face a challenge: unauthorized helpers. Their followers are offended on their behalf: how dare these renegades go off brand without permission!
As we see, though, both Moses and Jesus surprisingly embrace these renegades. After all, they’re speaking true prophecy and casting out demons.
We all have ideas about what the Church should look like, and woe to those who have another view! But maybe we should pause when we encounter these frictions. If someone is causing sin, confusion, or disruption, then we definitely have a problem. On the other hand, if they’re preaching the Gospel with success, if the words brings joy to people’s hearts, then it may be that they’re simply bringing different gifts to the same work.
The harvest needs workers, and God calls all sorts of people to that work.