A reading from the gospel according to Mark 9:38-40:
38 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.”
39 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.
40 For whoever is not against us is for us.”
Reflection: United against evil
God works in various ways. Many times He empowers ordinary people in ordinary situations as His instrument to do mighty deeds. He works in mysterious ways too that sometimes, it makes us wonder whether a particular work is really from Him or from the enemy. That is why, it is necessary to always ask the help of the Holy Spirit to grant us the gift of discernment.
The gospel reading above tells us about the incident where the disciples of Jesus attempted to prevent someone outside of their group from using the name of Jesus to drive out demons. Jesus Himself told them not to do it because whoever is not against them is for them. This is a great lesson for inclusivity. Many people have the mindset of exclusivity or the “we versus others” attitude.
The work of salvation is for everyone of any group, race or for that matter religion. Doing good is not the prerogative of anyone and no one can claim entitlement to heaven except those who have lived a life of holiness whether they belong to our group or not. The call is for all of us to be united in promoting the Kingdom of God and to fight evil in all its forms.