Homily September 27, 2015 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The gospel today should teach us a lesson that many of us just don’t understand. Someone was driving out demons in Jesus’ name and the disciples wanted to stop him. Jesus said leave him alone. He said if the person wasn’t against him he was for him. It is a lesson we need to learn today in an age when Christianity has become so split and divided that it is hard to know who belongs to whom. Centuries of pettiness and misunderstanding and jealousy and many other faults and flaws of humanity have left a very divided and disparate world of Christians. Christ’s word and teaching has been split and divided and taught in many different ways. Some take ownership of Christ’s word, yet interpret that word to their own advantage or point of view. Christ’s arms embraced the whole world and all of humanity, yet even today that embrace has been tempered and trimmed to fit one person or group or another. For centuries we have seen Christian against Christian and ignore the people who have not heard Christ’s word yet believe and follow the God who embraces even them. Condemnation comes Christ told us when one causes a believer to sin. This might sound strong, but what is the opposite of loving if not sin? He called on all of us to love as he loved himself.
Suspicion, jealousy and all the other negative things transpiring among the men and women of the world that breaks and injures individuals and our society truly stand in the way of a true union with him. Jesus made it clear that no one owned him to his disciples, and it is so today that following him is not ownership or exclusivity. Christ’s love includes us but those arms of his also include all who wish to reach out to him. What we need to remember is that if we truly love him we love also those whom he loves. It is after all He who determines those who belong to him. Our task is to love one another as he loves us. Christ died for all and he knows who are his own. It is not ours to judge but to love and show mercy.