In His Name

May 23, 2018

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. (Mark 9:38-40)

It seems that since I have been ordained, people like to engage me in theological conversations. People from other Christian denominations will challenge me with, “Why do Catholics do this?” or “Why do Catholics believe that?” I do my best to explain the teachings of the Catholic Church.

At some point, I usually try to steer the conversation in a different direction by saying something like, “Maybe we could spend a few minutes talking about the beliefs we have in common.”

Then we can compare notes: We both believe our lives should be centered on the teachings of Jesus Christ. More significantly, we both believe in the two greatest commandments: Love God with all of your heart, and love others as yourself.

Shouldn’t these substantial areas of agreement make up for the small ways in which we are different?

Jesus doesn’t care if non-disciples are driving out demons without His permission. He focuses on the most important thing: they are doing it IN HIS NAME.

For whoever is not against us is for us.

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