Numbers 11:25-29; James 5:1-6; Mark 9: 38-43,45,47-48
When you were young, did you ever want to belong to a group of kids that wanted no part of you? This circumstance occurs in both the reading from Numbers and in Mark’s Gospel. In both readings, we learn from Jesus how to be tolerant of others. Both readings infer that one group looks down on another. Jesus tries to teach the disciples not to think of themselves as better than others nor to look down on others. There are many ways to our God and we must realize that the basis for tolerance is the realization of the magnitude of truth. Is this not what we as Dominicans profess – the search for truth?
We are not asked to do great things for others; rather we are asked to give the simple things that anyone can give (e.g. a cup of cold water as prescribed in Mark’s Gospel.)
The spirit and mission of Jesus were not exclusive to the twelve Apostles but would be shared with many. (Mark) In the Numbers reading, Eldad and Medad were outsiders to the Jews. Both the Jews and Apostles were shown by Jesus how to be inclusive. Each of us is also called to be inclusive. Do we think inclusively of others in our ministry, where we reside, and with those with whom we share life? We must look for the Spirit of Jesus in those we consider outside our group. God is present even in unexpected relationships and events. Let’s ask ourselves: Do we “label” people? Where and when might we be stifling God’s spirit within us? We must allow the love of our God to keep us moving forward and ask Jesus to increase our tolerance and humility.
And so we pray:
Show me the path of life. In Your presence is the fullness of joy. Assist me to be more tolerant of all those with whom I come in contact. Help me to be more like You in all I do. Amen.
Sr. Barbara Werner, OP