Jesus instructs St. John to not reject those whose faith in Him is incomplete. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Wisdom from the Holy Spirit to help a man in the Spiritual Combat and by seeking the Fruits of Peace and Joy so a man can be a joyful example who draws others to the peace of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church.
7th Week in Ordinary Time – Wednesday – Mk 9:38-40
Despite the disciples’ constant experience of witnessing Jesus’ many miracles and being taught directly by Him over a long period of time, the disciples continue to be confused about Jesus and themselves. After hearing the disciples arguing about which of them is the greatest, Jesus rebukes them by revealing that they must become servants of all others, including serving even little children by receiving them in the name of Jesus.
John, the youngest of the disciples and called a “Son of Thunder” by Jesus Himself (Mk 3:17), demonstrates his highly combative nature by wanting to stifle another man who is casting out demons in the Name of Jesus. John’s troubling reason is that the other exorcist does not follow “us”; this is in contrast to following “Jesus.” John has not yet realized his own smallness, and that all power and glory comes exclusively from Jesus.
Jesus rebukes John’s attempt to stifle the exorcist, saying that all who faithfully perform acts in His Name are not to be prevented and will be rewarded; evidently the exorcist was successful and Jesus approves. Going further, Jesus reveals that those who perform other acts in His Name (giving drink to the thirsty) will be rewarded, presumably in Heaven. Jesus also reveals the nature of the ongoing Spiritual Combat by speaking in terms of those who are “for”, and “against,” Him. Interestingly, Jesus acknowledges the growing Church (“us”) and is beginning to grant more authority to the disciples to take some acts on His behalf.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Reflect upon how Jesus establishes the Kingdom of God: Divine King, with Divine Knowledge, Jesus commands and directs His men to build the Kingdom; Divine Prudence, Jesus Shrewdly analyzes situations and uses Foresight to see how various situations will play out, even opportunistically using those who are not in full communion with His Church, like the exorcist, to build the Kingdom; Divine Leader, Jesus delegates Authority to His disciples and Rebukes them when they make mistakes.
See the Spirit’s help in the Spiritual Combat
Realize: Jesus frequently speaks in terms of Spiritual Combat, the reality that Satan and some evil men of the world are against Him and actively work to oppose His beautiful plan of salvation for the willing; today, all men remain in the midst of the raging battle between evil and good and a Catholic man can sometimes forget about God’s dominion and power to thwart evil.
Believe: Reflect upon God’s Divine Providence (CCC 302-324).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Wisdom so I perceive and accept that You mysteriously allow physical and moral evil to exist, I experience and trust Your Providence in the world, and I vigorously engage in the Spiritual Combat.
Joyfully invite other Christians to become Catholic
Realize: Jesus reveals His Church is “one” and grieves over the great scandal in the world caused by the various Christian churches who are not yet in full communion with His Holy Catholic Church, and cannot receive the saving grace of His sacraments; all those who are received into Heaven will be received into His Holy Catholic Church, for the Church is one and there can be no disunity in Heaven.
Believe: Reflect upon the reality that The Church is One (CCC 813-822).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruits of Peace and Joy so I am a beacon of Christ’s love which flows through His Holy Catholic Church, I am led to know how to evangelize non-Catholic Christians, and I invite and help draw others to be in unity and communion with His Holy Catholic Church.