Mark 9:39-43, 45, 47-48
In you, Lord, I find all my joy and
happiness. How could I offend you by chasing after fleeting success and lifeless trophies? I believe
in you because you are truth itself. I hope in you because you are faithful to your promises. I love
you because you have loved me first. I am a sinner; nevertheless, you have given me so many
blessings. I humbly thank you.
Lord, grant me universal charity so
that I will be ready to collaborate with everyone to extend your Kingdom.
1. Unity in
protested that others were driving out demons in Christ's name, but his zealous love for the Master
needed purification and balance. Jesus invited John to collaborate with others and to leave his
territorial attachments. How many times has this happened to us? Whether it be in our parish or our
movement or prayer group, we, too, need to be open to working with everyone who believes in Christ.
We need to find points of unity with everyone working in Christ's name. As Pope Benedict XVI said to
the Ecclesial Movements gathered in Rome on the feast of Pentecost: "The whole Church, as Pope John
Paul II liked to say, is only one great movement, animated by the Holy Spirit, a river that goes
through history to water it with the grace of God and to make her life fruitful in goodness, beauty,
justice and peace."
2. All Men of Good Will:
Many of the papal encyclicals are addressed to all men of
good will, which means every person who lives and is open to living in the truth. Jesus sets this
standard for universal apostolic outreach. Charity is the mark of a person of good will. Hence the
words of Christ: "Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of
a disciple--truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward" (Matthew 10:42). We, too, must be open to all men and women of good will. When good
people witness charity in us, they find themselves attracted to the Church and to Christ. Universal
charity is a great way to attract people to the knowledge and love of Christ.
3. The Conversion of
remains outside the reach of God's redemptive plan, even those who are living sinful lives. It is
the compassion of Jesus that leads him to warn us about the evil of sin and the existence of hell.
His compassion and universal love for all people drive him to warn his followers that sin must be
eradicated from our lives. "If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out." We too must follow Jesus
in universal charity and concern for all people. When people sin they hurt themselves more than
others. We need to foster a compassion and genuine concern for the good of souls, and not stoop to
correcting others because their actions irritate us.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord Jesus, you
have saved me from sin.
You have called me out of the
darkness and into your great
Help me to follow your example of universal charity.
I want to love
others as you have loved me!
Today I commit myself to making an act
of kindness to someone that is outside of my social circle.