Word of the day

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Reading of the day

A reading from the Letter of James
Jas 4:13-17

Come now, you who say,
“Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town,
spend a year there doing business, and make a profit”–
you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.
Instead you should say,
“If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that.”
But now you are boasting in your arrogance.
All such boasting is evil.
So for one who knows the right thing to do
and does not do it, it is a sin.

Gospel of the day

From the Gospel according to Mark
Mk 9:38-40

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.”

Words of the Holy Father

The Gospel of today’s Liturgy recounts a brief dialogue between Jesus and the Apostle John, who speaks on behalf of the entire group of disciples. They saw a man who was casting out demons in the name of the Lord, but they stopped him because he was not part of their group. At this point, Jesus invited them not to hinder those who do good, because they contribute to the fulfilment of God’s plan (cf. Mk 9:38-41). Then he admonished them: instead of dividing people into good and bad, we are all called to be vigilant over our own hearts, lest we succumb to evil and bring scandal to others (cf. vv. 42-45, 47-48). In short, Jesus’ words reveal a temptation, and offer an exhortation. The temptation is to be “closed off”. The disciples would like to hinder a good deed simply because it is performed by someone who does not belong to their group. They think they have the “exclusive right over Jesus”, and that they are the only ones authorised to work for the Kingdom of God. But this way, they end up feeling that they are privileged and consider others as outsiders, to the extent of becoming hostile towards them. Brothers and sisters, every closure tends in fact to keep us at a distance from those who do not think like we do, and this — we know —  is the root of many great evils in history: of  absolutism that has often generated dictatorships and of great violence towards those who are different. (Angelus, 26 September 2021)