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The good news for the day February 22, 2017

Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time (343)

The follower of Jesus, John, said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons as though under your backing, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow the rest of us.” Jesus replied, “Don’t stop him. Nobody can do a significant action as part of our Family who can at the same time speak ill of me. Anyone not against us is for us.” (Mark 9)

Politicians used to speak of the “silent majority,” and Karl Rahner, a Jesuit theologian, has spoken of the “anonymous Christian”—people outside the “system” but whose ideas—or faith, hope, and love—have been authentic; somehow, they do “belong.”  The edges of some “clubs” are porous, like skin.

As your faith deepens, as you become more a Child of God than a child of this world, your understanding, wisdom and compassion grow. You begin to appreciate your fellow humans—how we all struggle with ignorance, mistakes, addictions and sins. Your view of others widens and sharpens. Your outlook becomes kinder, your heart more easily moved to accept others—knowing that we all have heartbreak and secrets, unrealized hopes of achievements, goodness, love and peace. You grow to categorize less and value individuals more.

Part of your acceptance of others—with whatever baggage they carry—is a recognition that, in the end, we are God’s children—all of us. They wrestle with their demons—and God knows what else. They do good—and God knows that. It is not your concern to control their goodness—to re-shape them from the way God made them into the way you want them to be. Guidance, advice, caring and respectful disagreement—YES; control, judgment, condemnation and repudiation—NO.

Love respects others. Not because God or Jesus says so, but because we are in the same Family of God. That disagreeable person may not have the same thinking as you, but they may be thinking more of God’s way that you know. Do not stop them. You and they are free to do the will of Our Father, each in a different way.

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