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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018

Weekend Reflection for prayer Aidan Troy, C.P. - only my view

On the Cross, Jesus’ hands were nailed but outstretched. This is the embrace of love to gather in all people. This is love without boundaries and invitation to all.

Then along came Joshua. He was perplexed because there were two men prophesying in the camp without having gone to the Tent of Meeting to receive the Spirit of God. Joshua ran, not walked, to Moses to get them stopped. They were ‘outsiders’ and had no right to share in prophecy.

Moses’ answer is nothing short of brilliant – “If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets, and the Lord gave His Spirit to them all.” Moses had met God and must have picked up a lot of the mind and will of God.

When God created this Universe and all that is in it, He gave it away for nothing to us to live in and to care for it. He did not charge for this. He did choose a People whom He called to be special. They are His people to this day. But, with the Fall of our First Parents, Jesus came from God to restore creation to its original purpose for all people.

The Apostle John fell into the same trap as Joshua before him. He came to Jesus to get an exorcist stopped from casting out devils in the name of Jesus.

Why did John want this person stooped? He tells Jesus, “because he was not one of us”. In fairness, John thought this was the right thing to do. It wasn’t. Jesus is crystal clear – “you must not stop him; no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me.” Well spoken, Lord!

Then, comes a principle that is for today as it was for the past – “Anyone who is not against us is for us.” How beautiful to know that this is the mind of Jesus.

Spiritual or religious monopolies should never characterise the disciples of Christ. Joshua could not understand how two who had not gone to the Tent would have the spirit of prophecy. John could not understand how people could expel demons in Jesus’ name without belonging to the Twelve Apostles. This is written by me, but this is the Word of God.

Before I get too self-righteous, have I in the name of orthodoxy identified belonging to Jesus with some kind exclusive group? I am in; they are out. The Spirit of God is greater than any human group, social movement or religious family. Constantly, I have to tell myself that my Baptism and Confirmation long pre-dated my Ordination. Otherwise, I am slipping into clericalism.

We are brothers, sisters, of equal dignity and worth. Deo gratias!


Saint Joseph's Catholic Church
50 Avenue Hoche
75008 Paris, France
33(0)1 42 27 28 56

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