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September 26, 2021

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DG BookGospel: Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
John said to him, “Master, we saw someone who drove out demons by calling upon your name, and we tried to forbid him because he does not belong to our
group.” Jesus answered, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in my name can soon after speak evil of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.
If anyone gives you a drink of water because you belong to Christ and bear his name, truly, I say to you, he will not go without reward. If anyone should cause

one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble and sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a great millstone around his neck. If your
hand makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a hand than with two hands to go to hell, to the fire that never goes out. And if your
foot makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a foot than with both feet to be thrown into hell. And if your
eye makes you fall into sin, tear it out! It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than, keeping both eyes, to be
thrown into hell where the worms that eat them never die, and the fire never goes out.


Lectio Divina:

READ: Jesus is teaching His disciples on how to deal with those not of their rank
but uses His name to advance the Kingdom. They must not stop Him. They are told
that those who will help them will get their just reward. He also warned them not
to lead the weak into sin and be circumspect in their action and in what they look
at lest they incur eternal punishment.

REFLECT: Jesus’ name is now a precious commodity. It has sufficient reputation
to attract others to use it in their trade. In this instance, it is the casting out of
demons. His disciples are naturally indignant. They don’t want to share this precious
commodity to others not of their rank. This is an advantage they loathe to share
with others. Funny how this feeling is present until today. You can find it in the
business sector. They copyright what they have discovered for exclusive use so
that they will rake in heaps and heaps of money by virtue of having exclusive rights
to that which they claimed as their own. But Jesus will have none of this sense of
exclusivity. As long as people are not against what He stands for, they are allies
in the building of God’s Kingdom. And perhaps that is why we are aptly named
Catholics. It simply means that everybody is welcome. There is no discrimination
in our Church. Although history have shown that at some point, religion was used
to further agendas that run contrary to Jesus’ teaching, still the Church goes back
to the path of Jesus afterwards. It is not even shy to ask forgiveness for its past
actions. Jesus taught us openness and magnanimity. We should look more for
commonality rather than difference from others to realize that all our actions tend
to one objective, the glory of God..

RESPOND: Our society becomes more and more plural and diverse. How do we
cope with these developments? These days, we could focus on acquiring skills to
live inter-culturally with others.


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