In the first reading today the Lord took some of Moses’ spirit and bestowed it on seventy elders who would assist in doing God’s work. Later in the reading, two men who were not among the seventy elders were prophesying and Joshua asked Moses to stop them. But Moses’ response was: “Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets.” A similar situation arose in today’s Gospel reading and Jesus’ disciples attempted to stop the man. Jesus responded: “Do not prevent him.”
This raises a question for us. What about those of other Christian denominations, how are we to view them? In older days it was thought necessary to convert Protestants to Catholicism. Although that mindset still persists, since the Second Vatican Council the emphasis has shifted from the need to convert to the need to work together. Although there are differences in our practices, our fundamental beliefs are the same. Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and the revelation of God is found in our common book – the Bible.
Whatever church we attend is simply a means to an end – the end being complete union with God in heaven. Let us be careful on how we judge or address people who are not Catholic. Keep in mind and heart the words of Jesus that “whoever is not against us is for us.” I recall a few years back during the Year of Mercy how we were reminded that how we welcome or judge others needed to be always flavored with mercy and compassion. Perhaps we can meet on common ground rather than separate over minor differences. Let us pray that the Lord might bestow his Spirit on people of all faiths. Blessings,
In his “Letter to the People of God” response to the clerical abuse and the ecclesial cover-up, Pope Francis asks all church members to commit themselves to penance and prayer in order that we might heal and move forward. May I suggest using the following prayer as part of our ongoing prayers.
A PRAYER FOR HEALING VICTIMS OF ABUSE
(Copyright © 2014 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just:
You gave Your only Son to save us by the blood of the cross.
Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, join to Your own suffering the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind, and spirit by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.
Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters who have been gravely harmed, and the cries of those who them. Soothe their restless hearts with hope, steady their shaken spirits with faith.
Grant them justice for their cause, enlightened by Your truth.
Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness. Grant us the courage and wisdom, humility and grace, to act with justice. Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors. Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.