Monday, February 25, 2019
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in Your Name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. – Mark: 9:38-40
The zealous disciples of Christ made an error of judgment, partly out of zeal, partly out the sinful instinct to try to control others. Immediately, and I sense rather sternly, Christ corrected them. “For whoever is not against is for us.” (I am working through more people than only you!) (my personal gloss to the text)
Christian history is scarred by the pattern of those once declared as “heretics”, in time, then declare others as “heretics”. Heretics are those who are out-of-step with the declared orthodoxy of a certain group in a certain time. Yet certain heretics have proven to be a prophetic voice over time, and other heretics have grown silent over time.
I believe our sinful nature likes to judge and condemn people who in some way we find different from ourselves. I also believe our sinful nature, when given power, likes to control the thinking of others whom we perceive to be a threat to our traditional way. And further, I also believe our sinful nature likes to from tribes, our tribe the righteous tribe, the other tribes, the enemies.
Christ did not abandon the “us” He shared with His disciples. Yet … He gave grace and tolerance to “them” who also worked in the spirit of Christ. It is as if Christ were saying … “My disciples, there will be enemies who will persecute us … let us not make enemies of those who seek to be our friends.”
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz