Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection May 22, 2024


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R/. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. I am the way, and the truth, and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us.

When John sees someone casting out demons, he objects to it before Jesus because he does not belong to their group. We need not blame him for jealousy. It can be a simple zeal for his master. But his reaction is quite indicative of our own attitudes of jealousy and ‘privatization’. Often in the life of many, jealousy plays havoc. They cannot tolerate any others doing good and great.

This is because they monopolize and privatize everything. They think all the good belongs to them; only they have a right; only they must possess everything or at least the major portion. The same tendency affects the spiritual ambit as well. They feel that God’s grace must be only for them.

This in turn springs from the attitude of self-centrism. ‘I’ becomes the norm and measure of everything. This is similar to what St James reproves as arrogance. It is arrogance that tries to program one’s life pushing God outside the territory of one’s life.

It is arrogance that depends too much on one’s own will and plans to ignore God’s will and plans. It is arrogance that forgets the transience and uncertainty of earthly life. It is arrogance that boasts of one’s greatness and success.

Thus, this chain of egoism, monopoly, arrogance, and jealousy leads to a lot of resentment, resistance, slander, and explicit harm against others. Therefore, we should persistently guard and fight against these evil pressures.

We must bear in mind that grace and good works are no one’s privileges or prerogatives. We have no right to resist any good in the name of allegiance. Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, is sinning. Also whoever resists the right thing, is sinning

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