St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time B21

Are you an “innie” or an “outie”? Think about it; an “innie” or an “outie”. I’m not asking about bellybuttons. That would be “TMI” (Too Much Information) as well as totally inappropriate.

 An “innie” means you belong to an “in” group or a group that’s respected, e.g., an athletic team, or someone you want to around because they have it all such as stunningly good looks, wearing the latest style, and having an outgoing personality.  An “outie” is almost completely opposite, someone who is easy to ignore, having average looks, isn’t up on the fashion world, and has a personality that is more introverted or shy. [1]

Today’s 1st and Gospel readings are about “innies” and “outies”. From those readings we learn that two characteristics of an “innie” are jealousy and perceived power.

In the 1st reading, two men were not with the gathering who went to the tent but were on the list. A report came that they were prophesying in the camp. Joshua was filled with jealousy, telling Moses about them. After all, they shouldn’t be allowed to prophesy since they were not in the place where the spirit was given. They were “outies”.

In the Gospel, John was concerned that someone was driving out demons in Jesus’ name and furthermore wasn’t part of those following him. How dare he when the 12 were expressly given the authority over unclean spirits. John thought that power only belonged to those who belonged to the inner circle, giving them the right to decide who has permission to do good works in Jesus name. What about the man’s training and credentials?

The response of Moses and Jesus is telling, free from restrictions. Moses said, “Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!” Jesus said, “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.” Anyone who gives a cup of water to drink because a person belongs to Christ will have his reward. Jesus welcomes those who take action in his name.

Two lessons for us: WE CANNOT HARNESS THE SPIRIT! Nor do we have the right to limit good works by anyone because they are not “innies” according to our standards.

 

The work of discipleship is not to draw hard and fast boxes about who is “in” or “out” but to follow where the Spirit leads.

 

[1] This paragraph is geared to the Confirmation Community who were at Mass after their retreat on Saturday. You can substitute other examples.

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