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CONCERNING INTOLERANCE

Read­ing Time: 3 minutes

Introduction

Last week, we reflec­ted on indif­fer­ence and its effects. This week, the Gos­pel mes­sage presents to us oth­er evils afflict­ing our world. Recall that last week we heard Jesus chas­tise his dis­ciples for their argu­ment about who among them was the greatest. Jesus taught them that the greatest among them will be those who serve. Not those who exer­cise power and author­ity over oth­ers. In this Sunday Gos­pel, the dis­ciple John ques­tions Jesus about an unknown per­son who was driv­ing out demons in Jesus’ name. John’s ques­tion might have been motiv­ated by jeal­ousy. Pre­vi­ously, Jesus healed a boy whom the dis­ciples could not heal (cf. Mark 9:14–27). John’s ques­tion is fur­ther evid­ence that the dis­ciples have not yet grasped Jesus’ words to them. They con­tin­ue to com­pare them­selves to oth­ers who seem to have great­er heal­ing powers, and they do not want to share the power of Jesus’ name with oth­ers. Jesus used the occa­sion to teach them tol­er­ance and how to con­cen­trate only on things that mat­ter. A good les­son for Chris­ti­ans and any­one who wishes to live a tran­quil and ful­filled life.

Diversity – The fear of the other

Teach­er, we saw someone cast­ing out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not fol­low­ing us” (Mark 9:38). This was John’s reac­tion when the dis­ciples saw a man cast­ing out evil spir­it from someone. John must have spoken the mind of oth­er dis­ciples. Their only reas­on for stop­ping the per­son who was cast­ing out demons was because, he was not one of them. That is, he was anoth­er and was dif­fer­ent from them. Their judg­ment of this per­son is cer­tainly out of pre­ju­dice and prob­ably, jeal­ousy. In reply, Jesus.….…

The essential

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out…” (Mark 9:43.45.47). In Mark 9:43–47, Jesus gives a crude les­son with ‘if state­ments’, invit­ing his listen­ers and nat­ur­ally, Chris­ti­ans to cut off their hands, feet and eyes, if these are scan­dals to them. That is, if they cause them to stumble. Jesus uses the vital parts of the human body to deliv­er this import­ant life mes­sage. We need not pan­ic because Jesus’ words are meta­phor­ic­al, and.…..

Conclusion

Des­pite our sins and short­com­ings, God still tol­er­ates us, await­ing our repent­ance. We should learn to tol­er­ate oth­ers even when we do not like them. Sym­pathy or dys­pathy should not be the cri­ter­ia for accom­mod­at­ing and tol­er­at­ing oth­ers. The only con­di­tion should be that each per­son is cre­ated in the image and like­ness of God. Let the oth­er be a source of enrich­ment to you and for you, but do not com­prom­ise your iden­tity, your faith and your per­son because you want to please the oth­er. Dis­ap­point­ments not­with­stand­ing, do not hes­it­ate to assist oth­ers if you can and accord­ing to your capa­city, and in doing so, do not allow your­self to be deceived, used or manip­u­lated. Do not give in to decep­tion. No one can stop the work of God (cf. First Read­ing). Not even the dis­ciples. That the eld­ers, Eldad and Medad proph­esied should not be mis­in­ter­preted and there­fore, mis­un­der­stood. Their proph­esy or proph­esy­ing was in favour of the people and accord­ing to the will of God. They did not proph­esy to enrich them­selves, but to enrich the people spir­itu­ally and oth­er­wise. Theirs was a self­less prophesy. 

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I and II)!! The reflec­tion for the 26th Sunday of the year (B) is found in vol. II pages 425–440. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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