May 23, 2018
by Larry Gillick, S.J.
Creighton University's Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 343

James 4:13-17
Pslams 49:2-3, 6-7, 8-10, 11
Mark 9:38-40

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

What If I Have Trouble Getting Better?

We can define ourselves in a large number of ways and images. We can say, “Well, at least we’re not those over ther.” “I’m glad I do this, or don’t do that.” We are not sure exactly who we are, but define ourselves by who or what we are not.

In today’s Gospel from Mark, John has apparently been knowing who he is by what he and the other followers of Jesus have been doing, that is driving out demons in the name of Jesus. Ah, but then there are “those” and they don’t have the proper credential, which is their close relationship with Jesus.

John seems to be dealing with a narrow and restrictive of what God can do and through whom. He reveals such a wonderfully human trait. We are what we do in an unique fashion. If someone else can do, that which we thought was unique, well then we’re rather common and so un-identified.

Early railroads had their specific guage of track and “those” other companies would not be able to run their cars on “our” tracks. Exclusion of others and from others is a rather cruel manner of having a sense of belonging. Who am I if I separate myself! We become by belonging, by being in union. That union with others does assist in my finding out who I was, am and will become.

John is working with a narrow-guaged God and a narrow sense of Jesus as Savior of the world. Jesus, in this text, broadens John and the other Apostles in their sense of whom Jesus has called them to be. The God of all can bless through all. It is our selfish fear of our not being enough and we tend to imagine that God has only one track to move Grace along through the world.

“All God’s creatures got a place in the choir”, as the song goes. The One-Track-God gets off track and delivers healings of all kinds through all kinds of kinds. Comparing, contrasting, separting, excluding never was the way of Jesus and invites each of us to be.” Through Him, with Him , and in Him” as we do our Daily-Bread deliveries. Ah, the highth and width and depth of the Ever-enlarging God.

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