September 30, 2018
by Tamora Whitney
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 137

Numbers 11:25-29
Psalms 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14
James 5:1-6
Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

Praying Ordinary Time

Finding Our Way Back Home: Getting Un-Stuck in Prayer Life

A couple times in today’s readings people are trying to stop others from doing good works, from praising God, or from helping others. That seems weird and wrong to me. It seems to me that it’s our job to do good works, praise God, and help others. If our goal is to follow Jesus, and it should be, that’s what we should be doing. But in the Gospel Jesus is told that someone he does not know is driving out demons in his name and should be stopped. Jesus says, don’t stop him. He’s doing my work and following me. How can anyone be against Jesus by doing good works? In fact, anyone doing good works and praising God is following Jesus. The people who should be stopped are the ones who are leading others to sin, not the one who are helping others.

But this is not a new problem. When God spoke to Moses, there were others prophesying as well. Moses was asked if those others should be stopped, but he said that anyone who was speaking the word of the Lord should be allowed. He is not the only one capable of hearing the word of God and proclaiming it. In fact, everyone should be speaking the word of the Lord.

Moses heard the word of the Lord and proclaimed it and encouraged others to follow. Jesus called on everyone to follow him. And the best way to do that is to proclaim the word of the Lord, praise him, and do his works.  How can anyone praising God and doing good works be against God? If we are for God, we cannot be against him. Those leading others to sin will wish they hadn’t. Those proclaiming the word of the Lord and following it will not lose their reward.

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