May 21, 2008
Wednesday of the seventh week in ordinary time
Mark 9: 38-40
John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, it can be so hard to rejoice in the successes of others. My pride and envy can get the better of me. I can forget that we are all on the same team, as we are one body in you. Help me to understand that the success of one member of the Church is also my success, and that any success of mine is for the whole Church as well.
Petition: Lord, help me to rejoice in my particular mission in your Mystical Body and to avoid the temptation to seek glory for myself.
1. One Cause for Christ By my baptism I am incorporated into Christ and am a member of his Body. If I can keep this thought ever at the front of my mind, I will easily resist the temptation towards envy. We all work for a common cause, though our “functions” may be different. To whom would the mouth speak if there were no feet to carry it to others? Therefore, when the mouth speaks, the feet rejoice, as it would be impossible for the mouth to fulfill its mission without the feet. So let us rejoice in the successes of others and weep with them in their failures, for their successes as well as failures are ours. Our one purpose is to bring the Gospel to all nations and save as many souls as possible. May this be the center of all of our prayers and apostolic endeavors. This is what will build up the Church, the mystical body of Christ.
2. Teamwork Requires Humility The more I do that is unseen, the more glory I give to God. When we work on an event, we work more effectively as a team. Some members of the team advertise, some raise funds, some collect materials, and some staff the actual event. It often happens, though, that those whose work is more visible get the greater human praise. How many souls let envy spoil the unseen efforts they have put into their good works! Oh, to value unseen work that is done in humble service and love for our Lord! Christ Jesus, I offer you all the things I have done that people do not know about, even more than the things that people thank me for, for I know that you see all that is hidden.
3. Rejoice When Others Bear Fruit This is also our victory! From a merely human point of view, we can see how being happy for others has a positive effect in our own lives. The success of others brings about the salvation of souls, service of the needy and happiness in the lives of people who were living in darkness and despair. To see the happy faces of the children when their dreams become a reality brings a satisfaction to our hearts that no money could ever buy. May we feel motivated to be more generous in our self-giving when we see the fruits others are bearing for the salvation of souls.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you call me to know you, love you and serve you, and to be happy with you forever. You have willed that I collaborate with those around me to make your Kingdom grow, and I want to do so willingly and cheerfully, without any envy or resentment. Please help me, however hard it is, to rejoice in the success of others. For me, what is important is that your Kingdom is established on earth!
Resolution: I will pray for all missionaries around the world and thank God for their generosity. I will also think how I can be a missionary in my own state of life.
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