Daily Reflection – 2/27/19
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.”( Mark 9:38-40)
Today Jesus is giving us an important instruction. He is telling us that anyone who is not against us is for us. Typically, most human beings know which individuals support them. However, we also know which people may struggle with us, dislike us, or ignore us. We may allow these individuals to disrupt our internal peace and harmony. As human beings, many of us may care too much about what others think of us. Jesus, however, wants his disciples to be truly free. He does not want them to be jealous of others or to covet another’s abilities and gifts.
In these times when people seem to be choosing sides on every issue, and loyalty and purity are measured by an unwillingness to speak to the other side, maybe Jesus’ answer surprises us, too. To many, there may not even be a category of people who, though not part of us, “are not against us.”
Perhaps we may need to look at why John brings this up to Jesus in the first place. The apostles don’t necessarily have a problem with someone driving out demons in Jesus’ name. They have a problem because the man wasn’t one of them. Could this be similar to the problem the Pharisees had with Jesus? Jesus did good things, like healings and exorcisms, but since He didn’t have the same understanding of the Law (or the status of the Pharisees?) that they did, the Pharisees rejected Him.
Jesus clearly wants his disciples to appreciate their own gifts and gifts of others as well. Life is not a competition, yet many of us live as if it were. Today if you find yourself being critical of another person’s actions, words, and being, STOP! Take a moment, breathe, and then change your reactive thoughts and your judgment. You may find that you feel more peaceful, relaxed, and calm. Judgment poisons our minds and our hearts. Release your judgment and relax and be at peace!
Prayer of The Day
Loving God, we pray often for the coming of your Kingdom. Help us to encourage and celebrate all people who work to make that Kingdom manifest in our world. Amen.
In the end, isn’t what is important is that the person, that all of us, seek the face of the living God and make his message known throughout the world through prayer and action. Don’t all of us fail, at times, by looking at the face of another and not seeing the face of God?