October 1, 2018

Gospel LK 9:46-50
An argument arose among the disciples
about which of them was the greatest.
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child
and placed it by his side and said to them,
“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
For the one who is least among all of you
is the one who is the greatest.”
Then John said in reply,
“Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name
and we tried to prevent him
because he does not follow in our company.”
Jesus said to him,
“Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Reflection:
“An argument arose among the disciples
about which of them was the greatest.”
Before being too quick to find fault with the disciples, we should remember that it is natural for all living things to be competitive.
Who can lift the most, run the fastest, be “the greatest?”
Even plants try to crowd one another out in an attempt to get more sun.
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child
and placed it by his side and said to them,
“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
Jesus understood human nature. His goal was not to make the disciples noncompetitive but to redirect their competitiveness. Rather than competing to be in charge, Jesus wants His followers to compete to be the most humble of servants.
Clearly the disciples did not understand the message, for John proudly proclaims:
“Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name
and we tried to prevent him
because he does not follow in our company.”
John felt that as Jesus’ followers they had a monopoly on doing good. Seeing someone who was not part of their group doing good in Jesus’ name was not acceptable and it had to be stopped.
Jesus said to him,
“Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit can work through anyone; that all who do good have a common spirit which comes from the love instilled in them by our Father.
“This is what the Lord asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8