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Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Scriptural Readings: Sirach 4:11-19; Psalms 119:165, 168, 171, 172, 174, 175; Mark 9:38-40

My dear encountered couples:

We believe that Jesus Christ founded one church which is known as the Roman Catholic Church. But the fact is that many other churches, or if you prefer, denominations of Christianity exist, many claiming to be the one and only true church of Christ.

Much bragging, squabbling, criticism, even hate has been found, even nourished, by members of the various denominations over the centuries. And as broad minded as our society considers itself to be in the 21st century, as civilized as we pride ourselves, some very vicious and serious accusations still get thrown around at one another. I think Jesus, in our short gospel passage this morning, tried to snuff out such nonsense during his lifetime before it could get a good start. Unfortunately, human nature being as it is, he failed. But let me read again what the apostle John said to Jesus and his response.

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 said in reply: “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.”

There have been many accusations made against Catholics by protestant laypeople and their ministers. Are we guiltless of never having returned the favor? The greatest scandal in missionary lands is several denominations in the same village teaching love and forgiveness while speaking ill of one another. Will Christians ever really learn what love is all about and practice it? We can only answer that question for ourselves. Let us love our neighbors as ourselves, especially our neighbors of other persuasions.


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