Jesus burns with zeal for the house, for the kingdom, of God. Needless to say, the disciples are to be as zealous as their Teacher.
John and Joshua show that they are zealous. John’s zeal is for those to whom Jesus has given the power to drive out demons. And Joshua’s is for the elders who have been at the meeting to get a share in Moses’ spirit.
And right away the zealous get to know that zeal does not have to have a tinge of exclusivism. For yes, one thing is zeal and quite another, indiscreet zeal that masks self-love (CRCM XII:11).
Self-love, in turn, makes those who are zealous to the extreme harsh. It also makes them seek utopias. And what takes place if those who are too zealous do not meet the goals that are way over their strength? They burn out (TWVDP 68), do they not?
No, it does not take too much for us to come to believe that it is about us, our group, training and abilities. But to think so would be to commit “larceny” (SV.EN VII:305). Hence, it is good that it be clear to us that God and his gifts are the ones that count. And that these know no limit nor border, that it is Jesus who rubs his zeal on us (EG 266)
And, yes, there this one thing that we should not lose sight of. Namely, that better than that one is among the prophet in public is that all people are prophets. That it matters more that one does a mighty deed in Jesus’ name than that one belongs to him in the open. And the non-Christians and Christians who do what Christ does both count among his own.
Zealous and welcoming of all
God’s gifts are for the good of all (1 Cor 12, 7). He gives them, so that the house of God may get bigger and more welcoming, by his word, and free from demons. He wants it to be a house of prayer for all (Is 56, 7; see also Ps 86). Brimming with the Spirit that blows where it wills and breaks out of boxes (Jl 3, 1; Jn 3, 8). And that is why sons and daughters will prophesy, old men shall dream dreams and the young shall see visions.
The shepherds will also be wise so that they may lead and serve in holiness and justice (Wis 9, 3). And one who is well-prepared will trust in God (SV.EN II:323). Knowledge will not puff up with pride that drives the weak away and makes them fall. Rather, love will gather and build them up (1 Cor 8, 1; CRCM XII:8).
And there will be cooperation in serving the poor in all ways (SV.EN XI:77). Besides, the body will be given up and the blood shed (SV.EN III:384). Just as what takes place with the just who does not open his mouth before murderers.
Lord Jesus, give us your Spirit that will make us mean what we say when we call God “our Father.” Makes us zealous for the good, not only of the Church or our group, but of all. For they are our brothers and sisters.
26 September 2021
26th Sunday in O.T. (B)
Num 11, 25-29; Jas 5, 1-6; Mk 9, 38-43. 45. 47-48