May 18, 2016 – Wednesday in the 7th Week of the Ch. Year

“Scratchpad Reflections” are daily meditations on the scripture readings for the day noted and are written by Dominican Brother Daniel Thomas to help readers gain a deeper understanding of the daily liturgies and Masses of celebration. Here is the reflection for:

May 18, 2016 – Wednesday in the 7th Week of the Church Year

Saint for the day: John 1 (d. 526)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

James 4:13-17     –     Psalm 49     –     Mark 9:38-40

with Jesus

“But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterword to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us.’” (Mark 9:39)

This quote from today’s Gospel according to St. Mark is also repeated in Luke 9:50. But, then, Luke goes on and turns it around, “whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11:23)

So, what is it? “Are you with me or against me? Are you against me or for me?” This dilemma makes me think back to that saying, “God writes straight with crooked lines.”

Last night I watched a National Geographic TV program: “Jesus: Rise to Power.” It was the second part of what I presume will be a series and followed the development of the early Church from being persecuted to being “mainstream” under the efforts of the Roman Emperor, Constantine to make it the only way to authentically follow Jesus.

It was interesting to follow the history of what actually happened: the Christians, who in the beginning were persecuted and brutally murdered, turned around – after they were in the favor of the world, so to speak – to do the same thing that was done to them by killing the pagans.

The thought that struck me while watching this program was that you could so easily change the dates and the costumes and apply the exact same situations to any parts of our world today!

Given that we have just celebrated the Feast of Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit – we are once again reminded that the Holy Spirit brings order out of chaos while, at the same time, not turning us into mindless robots. That phrase, “God writes straight with crooked lines” means that we need to allow God’s way to burn in our being and purify our lives. We can’t just wander through our world cutting down rain forests and re-directing rivers and then wonder why our houses get demolished by mudslides when floods tear through our villages.

If we torture people who don’t think the way we do we should know that – what goes around comes around – and the same thing most likely will happen to us one day!

“Are you with ME or against me? Are you scattering or gathering? Good questions for us to ponder … and honestly answer! Amen!


May 18, 2016 – Wednesday in the 7th Week of the Ch. Year — 1 Comment

  1. Br. Daniel,
    Thank you for your reflection. MS

    “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”

    Frederick Buechner
    American writer and Protestant theologian, present day

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