Sunday, September 27, 2015

In His Name

By Beth DeCristofaro

Moses answered him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!" (Numbers 11:29)

Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.   (Mark 9:39-41, 43)

By this we came to know the love of God: that Christ laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for one another.  (Communion Antiphon from the Mass for the Day)

Recently a character on a TV show told her teen-age son that even though he was doing all things right but still losing out that “You will continue doing the right thing because that’s what makes you a man.”  It struck me that Pope Francis would appreciate her advice.  He has gone farther and told us how to go about it:  choose love, choose mercy.  Pope Francis has modelled mercy and love with every action and word he shares.  He points out that there are many goods to choose from and that both choosing good but also how you go about that good are important. 

Moses realized and Jesus proclaimed that anyone who acts in the name of God belongs to God.  Of course Jesus also warned that our hearts must be routed and motivated from God not from our self-centered desires.  It seems to me that some of the division we see in the Church comes from competition for “good” issues.  The good I work for should not trump the one you are passionate about.  The cause I espouse does not prove I am a better Catholic Christian than you are.  There is so much hurt, isolation and despair in the world that all of our love and mercy are needed. 

Pope Francis spoke of four beloved, strong models of holiness in his address to Congress last week: Abraham Lincoln, Martin L. King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.  Read about one.  What do you learn from her/his passions, choices and actions that can help you deepen your desire to draw closer to Jesus and so act in His name?  

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