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The good news for the day (May 18)

Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time (343)

John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we have seen someone driving out compulsions as though n you family, and we tried to stop him because he is not part of our group.” Jesus replied, “Do not stop him. There is no one who works something significant in the way of my family can at the same time speak wrong about me. For anybody who is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9)

This remark has much to consider. It is about inclusion and exclusion. Do you belong or not? Are you a “Christian”?

The definition of a real Christian is hiding in this anecdote. If you act “in the name of Jesus”—if you deal with compassion, forgiveness, and understanding—you are driving out “demons.” If you touch people’s lives with inspiration, hope, caring, and humility—you are freeing them form the horrors of “this generation.”

It is what you do that counts—the actions of family-love define your true “Christianity”—your membership in the family of God. It is not whether you “belong” in your parish, your community, your denomination or your baptismal commitment. What counts is that “doing something significant”—a “might deed” in the traditional language—an effect on spiritual blossoming, of deepening responsibility to the human family of God. Whether you “belong”—important as it might be—is less important that “doing the will of our Father.” Touch people’s lives—not by including them in your group—but by admitting that outside your group there is salvation—people there can, too, do the Will of our common father.

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