Wednesday of the 7th Week of the Year

Wednesday of the 7th Week of the Year

Mk 9:38-40

Another Exorcist


Fr. John Fullenbach, SVD writes in his book Throw Fire that in the Kingdom of God there is a place for everyone. There is no “For Members Only” sign, for God is “allergic” to exclusivity.

Jesus invites us through our gospel today to shed off our “tayo-tayo” mentality. He calls us instead to strive for communion rather than division, collaboration rather than competition, dialogue rather than annihilation. The Church, the non-government organizations and even the government have taken steps towards this direction. The People Power I and II, the Catholic and Protestant Bishops-Ulama Forum, the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines, the National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the federation of urban poor, the coalition of cooperatives and the peace negotiations are but a few of the tested initiatives for communion and collaboration. However, these are enough; a lot more remains to be done, if we are to have a foretaste of the kingdom of God. Let the gospel then challenge us to do our part – in our family, in our mandated organizations or religious movements, in our workplace, in our country, yes, if we allow the Spirit to lead us, we can be one – as the Father and Jesus are one. (Sr. Vilma Puzon, SSpS Bible Diary 2002)


Regionalism or factionalism is one of the biggest drawbacks or obstacles to nation-building, to developing a strong nation and to putting up a vibrant economy. Pampaguenos, for example, do not find it comfortable to work with or to team up with, the Ilocanos or the Visayans or the Tagalogs for national projects. Just to cite the example of a national language of the Philippines, but the Visayans refuse to speak it. They stick to their Visayan or Cebuano language. This factionalism or regionalism is typical of Asian people. It smacks of exclusivism and it is a sign of narrow-mindedness.

That is what we encounter among the followers of Jesus in today’s gospel reading. They reported to Jesus that they stopped and prevented someone from driving away evil spirits because he refused to follow them – meaning, he did not belong to their group. That someone did not walk their walk and did not talk their talk. In short, he was an outsider. Jesus rebuked and corrected their narrow-mindedness, their factionalism and told them outright that he who is not against them is with them, for in truth we are all God’s children. No one can do a good deed without God’s grace and no one does a good deed no matter how insignificant, even just giving a cup of water to a thirsty fellow human being, without getting recompense from God. (Fr. Teng dela Cruz, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


May 18, 2016 Wednesday

I always wanted to become a good preacher. I was influenced by a video I watched on the Internet.  The video presented a well-known Cebuano Catholic Faith Defender publicly debating with a protestant. I was really amazed how this guy lambasted the ideas opposing our Catholic Faith. He was well-versed with the scriptures; he could easily site substantial verses to refute the other’s wrong conception of our belief and practice as Catholics and supported his arguments with convincing explanations. Most of his public debates with the other denominations and sects won the hearts and applause of the crowd leaving the opposing debater at a loss for words.

In our Gospel today, Jesus illustrates a very touching and an eye-opening example for all of us.

For whoever is not against us is for us…these very words of Jesus show His great love for all. At times, this is called the Divine Tolerance. Jesus’ love for all of us is not exclusive to a particular group of people. It is an inclusive love; it knows no restrictions. Jesus’ love is not exclusive to a particular Church. God’s grace comes and flows inside and even outside our Church, respecting “plurality of religions.”A Catholic Bishop once said: “Why focus on our differences? Instead, let us focus on our similarities.”

I recall the video that I watched. I realize, there’s no need to argue on who is really worthy or which Church is the true church. Let us then be like Jesus whose love exceeds the limits we fence it in. Let us get rid of our prejudices and biases towards other’s beliefs. GOD’S LOVE IS NOT EXCLUSIVE; IT IS AN INCLUSIVE LOVE. (Sem. Karl T. Cabanalan | CKMS, Quezon City Bible Diary 2016)


Pope Francis: Jealousy and Envy Opens the Door to Evil (Source: Zenit)

Vatican City, January 23, 2014 — Jealousy and envy are the gateways to bitterness and gossip that sow division within the Christian community. This was the central point of Pope Francis’ homily today at Casa Santa Marta

The Holy Father drew his reflection from the first reading, which spoke on Saul’s jealousy of David. The joy of victory was transformed into sadness and jealousy after David receives praise for his victory over the Philistines.

That jealousy that overcomes Saul, the Pope said, is the same “worm of jealousy and envy” that took over Cain. And just like Cain, Saul decides to kill David.

“Saul, instead of praising God as the women of Israel did for this victory, prefers to close in himself, in regret and to cook his feelings in the broth of bitterness,” the Holy Father said.

“Jealousy leads to murder. Envy leads to murder. It was this door, the door of envy, through which the devil entered the world. The Bible says: ‘Through the envy of the devil, evil entered the world.’ Jealousy and envy open the doors to all evil things. It also divides the community. A Christian community, when some of its members suffers, from envy, jealousy, it ends up divided: one against the other. This is a powerful poison. It is a poison that we find in the first pages of the Bible with Cain.”

The Holy Father went on to say that there are two distinct reactions in a person struck with jealousy and envy: bitterness and gossip. A bitter person, he said, does not know joy, only concerned with what they do not have. The second attitude, gossip, leads one to debase others because “they cannot tolerate that anyone has anything.”

“Gossip divides the community, they destroy the community. They are the weapons of the devil,” the Pope stressed.

“A person that is under the influence of envy and jealousy kills, as the Apostle John says: ‘He who hates his brother is a murderer. An envious person, a jealous person, begins to hate his brother.”

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis prayed that this seed of jealousy may not be sown in Christian communities.

“It is a great grace, the grace to not fall in sadness, in being resentful, in jealousy and in envy,” the Pope said.

Article provided by ZENIT News Agency.


Reflection: Arrogance and intolerance are often times what prevent us from becoming effective followers of Jesus. For example if we see a homosexual couple who are living together, should we avoid them? Or should we be friend them and live the teachings of Jesus through them. The best course of action to take is to be friends with them with the hope in mind that by doing so we would be able to eventually convert and enlighten them.

When John saw someone who was not in their group driving out demons in the name of Jesus he tried to prevent them. Perhaps, John thought that they only have the monopoly of holiness to drive out demons. So what did Jesus do when John told Him about this incident? He told John let him do what he was doing for whoever is not against them is for them also.

To be arrogant, intolerant and judgmental is not good. It prevents us from genuinely doing the mission of Jesus, it prevents us from bringing people to Jesus. We might forget that Jesus became man not only for the righteous. He became man to convert sinners to give them mercy and forgiveness.

Let us avoid to be arrogant, to be intolerant and judgmental. Let us instead show the mercy and love of Jesus. Who knows by doing so we may be able to bring them closer to Jesus. …( Marino J. Dasmarinas)


Monday, May 16, 2016

Reflection for May 18, Wednesday of the Seventh Week in OT; Mark 9:38-40

Reflection: Why do some Catholics leave the church in favor of other Christian church?  If we will ask them why they left they would normally say that they felt Jesus’ presence more in their lives when the Pastor of the Christian church shared passages about Jesus in the bible.

Should we get angry with these Christian churches for taking away some of our brethren who grew bored in our church? Of course not! We should rather be more innovative in our preaching about the word of God so that the faithful will feel Jesus’ presence in their lives.

John said to Jesus: “someone is 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.”

We should at all times be gentle, tolerant and loving towards other Christian religions for we preach the same God. We may have our differences with them but at the end of the day we preach the same God and the same Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

WEDNESDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 9:38-40. UNSA MAY ATONG IKASULTI SA MGA TAWO NGA MAGSANGYAW MAHITUNGOD KANG KRISTO APAN DILI KATOLIKO? Diha sa ebanghelyo si Kristo nagtugot ni bisan kinsa nga magsangyaw tungod kay matod pa niya, “Ang dili batok kanato dapig kanato”. Kini nga pagtulon-an angay nga magdasig sa tanang magsasangyaw, Katoliko man o dili, sa pagrespeto sa usag-usa. Dili sila angay nga mag-away, mag-insultohay, ug magdinaotay diha sa ilang pagsangyaw kang Kristo ngadto sa kalibotan. Ang Ginoo nga ilang gisangyaw usa ka Dios sa gugma ug pakigdait. Angayan lamang nga ang mga magsasangyaw magdala og kalinaw ug kaayohan sa usag-usa. Nindot kaayo ang giingon ni Saint Francis de Assisi: “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” Posted by Abet Uy


May 18, 2016

Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

James 4: 1-10; Mk 9:38-40

Friends and Beneficiaries, Not Enemies

Collaborate, incorporate and appreciate: Jesus is the source of unifying grace. In Him we are all brothers and sisters. The world seen through the spectrum of modernity presents images of duality and binary oppositions. People are divided and discriminated against as enemies and friends. Yet, for Jesus the binary oppositions do not hold good, except for one, “the good and evil”.  By my baptism I am incorporated into Christ and am a member of his Body. If I can keep this thought ever at the front of my mind, I will easily resist the temptation towards envy. We all work for a common cause, though our “functions” may be different. To whom would the mouth speak if there were no feet to carry it to others? Therefore, when the mouth speaks, the feet rejoice, as it would be impossible for the mouth to fulfill its mission without the feet. So let us rejoice in the successes of others and weep with them in their failures, for their successes as well as failures are ours. Our one purpose is to bring the Gospel to all nations and save as many souls as possible. May this be the center of all of our prayers and apostolic endeavors. This is what will build up the Church, the mystical body of Christ.

Teamwork Requires Humility: The more I do that is unseen, the more glory I give to God. When we work on an event, we work more effectively as a team. Some members of the team advertise, some raise funds, some collect materials, and some staff the actual event. It often happens, though, that those whose work is more visible get the greater human praise. How many souls let envy spoil the unseen efforts they have put into their good works! Oh, to value unseen work that is done in humble service and love for our Lord! Christ Jesus, I offer you all the things I have done that people do not know about, even more than the things that people thank me for, for I know that you see all that is hidden.

Rejoice When Others Bear Fruit: This is also our victory! From a merely human point of view, we can see how being happy for others has a positive effect in our own lives. The success of others brings about the salvation of souls, service of the needy and happiness in the lives of people who were living in darkness and despair. To see the happy faces of the children when their dreams become a reality brings a satisfaction to our hearts that no money could ever buy. May we feel motivated to be more generous in our self-giving when we see the fruits others are bearing for the salvation of souls. Fr. James Thayil CMI


May 18, 2016

REFLECTION: James is a rather strict man, but his advice is always sound. Two instances of his wisdom are given in today’s first reading.

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Why is this? Because the devil is essentially a proud spirit. When we resist his wiles and he fails to make us sin, he suffers a great humiliation. And, of course he hates to lose face. That is why, after a few ineffectual attempts on us, he beats a shameful retreat and thinks twice before launching another offensive.

The second wise advice of James is “do not criticize one another.” Here we must all examine ourselves with ruthless honesty. How often do we criticize another person in a single day? Yet, as James reminds us, “who are you to judge your neighbor?“ Saints never judge people. Sometimes, with infinite tact, they will deplore someone’s bad behavior, but they will always find mitigating circumstances in favor of the culprit. You sense that they deeply respect the culprit and that they would never presume to pass judgment on anyone. Why not? Because they are so aware of their own sinfulness that they have no taste for criticizing others.


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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