Daily Bible Reading - May 22, 2024

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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Psalter: Week 3 / (Green/White)

St. Rita of Cascia, religious

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 49: 2-3, 6-7, 8-10, 11: Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!

1st Reading: James 4: 13-17

Listen now, you who speak like this, “Today or tomorrow we will go off to this city and spend a year there; we will do business and make money.” You have no idea what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? No more than a mist, which appears for a moment and then disappears. Instead of this, you should say, “God willing, we will live and do this or that.” But no! You boast of your plans: this brazen pride is wicked. Anyone who knows what is good, and does not do it, sins.

Gospel: Mark 9: 38-40

John said to him, “Master, we saw someone who drove out demons by calling upon your name, and we tried to forbid him, because he does not belong to our group.” Jesus answered, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in my name can soon after speak evil of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.

REFLECTION:

“Do not forbid him.”

Pride breeds in exclusivity. The Gospel for today narrates John, the son of Zebedee, reported to Jesus about the man who did not belong to their group but who drove out demons in Jesus’ name. John told Jesus that for such reason the man did not belong to their group; so, the disciples tried to forbid him from driving out demons in Jesus’ name.

Jesus told them not to forbid the man because whoever is not against them is for them. It is always a common pitfall even for the believers to segregate or to label others as not belonging to one’s group.

When we fall into this snare, we ourselves are trapped in our own biases and prejudices. Then we are blinded to see the beauty or goodness of the other person, immediately judging the person according to affinity or association rather than giving ourselves a chance to grow in the knowledge of such a person.

Now, Jesus is teaching us how to set ourselves free from our tendency toward prejudice and exclusivity. It is only when we are free that we can truly encounter others. Genuine encounter begets inclusivity.

It is in inclusivity that our vocation to love is realized.

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