Two of our readings this weekend show disciples bent out of shape because of people “not in our group” doing good, first in the name of Moses and then in the name of Jesus. Both Moses and Jesus tell their
disciples to let it alone: the “other” people are doing good.
Divisions. Competition. They are such a part of our human existence, even in religion. The message I got growing up was that Catholicism was the only true religion and everyone else was doomed. Why do we have to put ourselves first and then dismiss everyone else?
Yes, I believe our tradition goes all the way back to Jesus and His first disciples and that is one of the reasons that I stay Catholic. But I think it is important to concentrate on ourselves, on how we are living Gospel values as a denomination and as individuals, rather than competing with, judging, or dismissing other denominations. We need to do our best to live Gospel centered lives and leave the judging to God.
To go one step further: when someone is doing good in the name of Christ, why wouldn’t we want to be supportive? That is why I am so pleased with our supportive relationship with Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School. They are doing such a good job of giving at-risk boys a solid, faith-filled background for success. What would be gained by dismissing something like that because “they are not of our group”?
In summary, I would suggest the following:
Nothing makes my point better than the words of Moses at the end of our first reading: Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all! Concentrating on improving ourselves and doing good will have a better outcome than competition. God bless.
Church sign of the week: A person wrapped up in themselves makes a very small package.