Glimpses of God’s Goodness – Sept. 26, 2021 – Sister Anne Flanagan, SNDdeN
September 26, 2021
Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
Our Gospel for today is certainly challenging! It has two sections. The first focuses on who can do the works of grace in the name of Jesus. It opens with John notifying Jesus that someone who was apparently not a follower of Jesus was driving out demons. An outsider!! We listen to Jesus respond “Whoever is not against us is for us.” All good works come from God! Who are those in our lives who are the OUTSIDER and yet are leading lives of care and service of others? We probably do not have to look far to find those among our families and acquaintances.
Again is this an invitation to have hearts as wide as the world? We must have hearts that embrace all who follow a different path, whether religiously or even politically, as long as they, too, are searching for the truth and justice for God. We can witness this occurring in different groups, Catholic, Christian, Muslim, etc. who are working to protect the environment, to help the poor, homeless, migrants. The evening news often bring us such stories of the goodness of others.
In the second section of the Gospel we also hear the challenge to remove from our lives anything that may keep us from loving God and our neighbor. Surely this does not mean to physically harm our bodies “plucking out our eyes, etc.” but rather take out of our hearts those obstacles that keep us from being loving persons. This may lead us to reflect on what are our blocks to following Jesus more completely. They may possibly include fear, doubt in our own goodness, the desire to be in control, selfishness in all its forms…
Today, we pray to have open hearts, generous hearts to respond to God’s call to ongoing transformation and proclaim God’s Goodness to all in our lives, in our world.
Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
At that time, 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. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'”
The Gospel of the Lord