YEAR B: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
THEME: NO SITTING ON THE FENCE
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Num. 11:25-29
Second reading – Jam. 5:1-6
Gospel – Mk. 9:38-42.45.47-48
I wanted to get angry at John the disciple of Jesus who came to seek permission to stop those working in Christ’s name. Why should he be so possessive of the name of Jesus? Is it meant for him alone? But on a second thought, I reasoned that he was only being courteous. Human being cannot be trusted. In history, it is not difficult to realize that double dealing has been the ways of so many people. Appearance has become most deceptive as people do no longer live up to what they profess. At the same time, Jesus makes it clear in the gospel today that there cannot be a middle cause by which one can be for Him and at the same time not be. Jesus’ own words to John were “anyone who is not against us is for us”.
Many things go these days in the name of God, under the cover of religion. Suicide bombing, terrorist attacks have also come to be ways of worshipping God. Did I hear you say but they are not Christians? Ok then, a lot still goes today in Jesus name. Thus only God knows what lies behind those crosses buried in the ground, those long ties and extra large holy books, and of course the loudest Amen!!!.
In an era like ours when the streets are flooded with fake miracle workers in the name of Jesus, we must take the words of Jesus seriously that there is no room for sitting on the fence. One of the philosophical principles I was glad to learn as a first year student of Philosophy in those days was the principle of non contradiction. This principle states that a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. We cannot be fighting on God’s camp and at the same time fighting on the devil’s camp. There was an interesting story of such self deception and the consequent result in Acts 19:13-16. The question of the evil Spirit “Who are you?” is the same question we must ask ourselves. On whose camp are you? Remember, there cannot be a room for sitting on the fence.