Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2/23/11 - Whoever Is Not Against Us Is For Us

Mark 9:38-40
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.”
I didn't quite know what to do with this passage.  It's clear to me that Christ is saying that authentic Christian works can be done by anyone, regardless of what group he is from.  But how do I balance that with my belief that the Catholic Church contains the full richness of the faith that other denominations lack?  I found a nice reflection on this passage at, written by Fr. Jim Kirstein from the Philippines. 
"The real challenge of the gospel is whether we accept that the Spirit of God works wherever he wishes and through whomsoever he wishes. It is necessary to remember that the truth is always bigger than anyone’s understanding of it. No one can possibly grasp all truth. We simply must be open to the Spirit’s working in our world.

This call for tolerance is not a lazy acceptance of anything that goes. It does mean respecting the freedom of conscience of another as the documents of the Second Vatican Council tell us. But if groups putting forward doctrines calculated to destroy morality and to remove the foundations from all civilized and Christian society then they are to be combated. "

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