Feb 27 (Mk 9:38-40)

A man possessed a ring set with wonderful diamonds.
>> This ring was a charm – whoever wore it, became so sweet and true in character that all people loved him.

It was always passed down from father to son, and always it did its work.

As time went on, it came to a father who had three sons whom he loved with an equal love.
>> What was he to do when the time came to pass on the ring?

The father had an idea…
… He made two other rings made precisely the same way – so that none could tell the difference.

On his death-bed he called each of his sons in, spoke some words of love … and without telling the other, gave to each a ring.

When the three sons discovered that each had a ring, a great dispute arose as to which was the true ring.

The case was taken to a wise judge.

>> He examined the case, and then spoke:
“If the true ring gives sweetness to the character of the man who wears it,” said the judge, “then I and all people will know the man who possesses the true ring by the goodness of his life.
So, go your ways -Be kind, Be truthful, Be brave, Be just in your dealings.
>> He who does these things will be the owner of the true ring.”

The owner of the original ring was to be found by the life that they lived!

Am I a possessor of the “Ring” of Christian Faith?
… then it needs to be displayed by a life of faith and love

>> Am I wearing the “Ring” of being a follower of Christ?
… then it needs to be exhibited by a life of conviction and commitment

The incident in today’s Gospel focuses on how Jesus opens the minds of His disciples to “not get limited” by peripherals of religion…
… Instead to focus on the power of God and to live a life worthy of our Christian Calling!

One of the disciples – John – told Jesus: “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following Us” (Mk 9:38)

An act of demoniac-healing was being conducted by one who was “not in Jesus’ group”

The disciples were alarmed by it…
… they felt it their duty to forbid it, since that man was outside their “boundary”
… they would have felt within themselves, “How can he who is not with us, do such things?”
… there might perhaps even been a tinge of jealousy, since sometime back, they themselves couldn’t heal a possessed-boy (Mk 9:18)

This incident of the Gospel has a marked parallel in the Book of Numbers 11: 25-29
>> The Lord had spoken to Moses and bestowed the spirit on seventy chosen elders
>> Among them, two named Eldad and Medad were not in the gathering, but left in the camp
>> Joshua, came rushing to Moses and complained, “Stop them… they are prophesying in the camp”
>> To that, Moses replied sternly, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!” (Num 11: 29)

Many times, among the “chosen people”, there could be such a tendency to “monopolize” Divine gifts
>> There could be occasions when “selected persons” feel themselves to be having a special right and privilege, to which no others can lay claim!

But the Lord seeks to break such fake boundaries and false borders, by telling:
“Whoever is not against us, is for us” (Mk 9:40)

The quality of our Christian Life will be not assessed, simply by the vocation to which we are called…
…but by our life of faithfulness and fidelity

>> The Christian Vocation is not merely a “title” to be hung around in pride…
… it is a responsible duty that is to be carried out with sincerity and earnestness

>> The Call to be a member of God’s Kingdom is not merely a “plaque” to be carried around for gratification…
… it is an accountable task that is to be performed with dedication and perseverance

> We need to let go of our “restricted, narrow and prejudiced” mindsets and be open to the working of God’s Spirit, in any people

As Christians, we all are blest with the “ring” of being called the followers of Christ
>> Let us live a life of faith and love, conviction and commitment – and become to worthy to be truly called as the “Children of our Heavenly Father”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ What good is to build houses in Spain…
… when we live our lives in France!”

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