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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Thoughts on Wednesday's Gospel

MK 9:38-40

Jesus speaks the command not to hinder those who do mighty deeds in his name, even if they do not explicitly belong to his flock with the words, "Whoever is not against us is for us." These words have often been used in support of the ecumenical movement on the grounds that all are serving Jesus even if not explicitly united to him. A similar current goes through Karl Rahner's theology of the anonymous Christian, that is - everyone is a follower of Christ by doing what is good even if they do not recognize it as such.

I have a problem with this passive evangelization of those who, if asked, would state that they were, indeed not Christian and would not wish to think that they were - even anonymously. Neither would I wish to be known as an anonymous Buddhist or an anonymous Muslim. The name of Christian should not be minimized to simply a set of behavior.

I think that what Jesus is saying is that if someone is doing good in the name of Jesus, it would be foolish to stop them because Jesus' name will still be glorified, but rather than only "not stopping" we should strive to get this one who is already serving Jesus to do so within the bonds of the Church that Jesus established.

Doing "mighty deeds" in Jesus' name is good, but acting in Jesus' name amongst those who make up the Body of Christ is even better for it makes those deeds part of the over all salvation of God's holy people.


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