Fr. Mike’s Daily Homily for Wednesday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II (1)

Fr. Mike’s Daily Homily for Wednesday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II

Theme: The true church

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

Homily for Wednesday February 23 2022

Mk 9:38‐40
John said to Jesus

A statue of Mary is seen outside St. James Church in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in this Feb. 26, 2011, file photo. Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga, Poland, as his special envoy to Medjugorje, the site of alleged Marian apparitions. A Vatican statement said his role would be to study the pastoral situation in Medjugorje. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-MEDJURORGE-PASTORAL Feb. 13, 2017.







Fr. Mike’s Daily Homily for Wednesday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: The true church
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Wednesday February 23 2022
Mk 9:38‐40
John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” 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.
There are four marks of the True Church: one, holy, catholic and apostolic. Among these four marks, ‘catholic’ is the least understood and practiced. This word comes from Greek which means ‘universal’. According to the Dictionary, the following are its synonyms: diverse, diversified, wide, broad, indiscriminate; open-minded, broad-minded, liberal, tolerant, undogmatic, flexible,widespread, global, worldwide, all-encompassing all-embracing, all-inclusive, unlimited.
Interestingly, many members of the Catholic Church have the opposite notion of the word ‘catholic’. They think it is exclusive, rigid and limited only to members. This is not surprising because even the disciples of Jesus themselves had this same mistaken idea. In the Gospel today, they tried to prevent a man who is casting out demons in the name of Jesus, simply because he is not known to them, he does not belong to the group: “he does not follow us.”
Jesus reprimanded them for doing so: “For whoever is not against us is for us.” In the spiritual battle that has been raging since the fall of man, there is no middle ground. One cannot be neutral. It is either we are with Christ, or against Christ. To try to be neutral –indifferent and silent – in the battle between good and evil is tantamount to being on the side of evil. Venerable Fulton Sheen said, “The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil.”
The Church is ‘catholic’ – universal, inclusive – precisely because of her mission: to save all souls. Thus, the Lord’s command to love one another includes even our enemies and persecutors. They, too, need to be saved. Our enemy is not each other, but the evil one. Hence, anyone doing what the Lord wants and commands is definitely on His side, on our side. After all, God can do His work through all kinds of people – even among those who do not belong to our Church. We need to gratefully acknowledge each other’s giftedness. After all, no one has the monopoly of God’s gifts.
Rather than be resentful and insecure, we should be glad and thankful that they, too, are doing our work as Christians. As a contemporary author, R. Allan Woods, said, “We may not all be in one chapter, but we should be in the same book.” We need all the warm bodies available for the building up of God’s Kingdom on earth.
In this great spiritual battle, we cannot be distracted by petty issues such as membership and affiliations that may lead to debilitating and destructive infighting. Indeed, it is truly sad to see many parishes internally divided as members of different parish organizations and ministries compete among themselves leading to squabbles, backbiting and scandal.
Before His Passion, Jesus prayed for all His disciples, both those who were with Him and those who will come in later generations. In this High Priestly prayer, He asked the heavenly Father that “they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you” (Jn 17:20).
When we are tempted to be exclusive, petty and divisive, let us always remember this prayer and wish of the Lord: unity in truth and in love. We believe in only one Lord; we received only one faith, one baptism; and we belong to only one Church. We must “strive to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3), working together in building the Kingdom of God on earth.
“How good and how pleasant it is, when brothers dwell together as one! ” (Ps 133:1)
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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