Peace and grace to you all!
Through the readings this weekend we have an opportunity to reflect on how well we understand and live out Catholic social teaching.
In the first reading, God sent a gift of the spirit upon seventy chosen leaders so that Moses would have help in leadership of the people. When Joshua approached Moses to prevent the two who were absent from the assembled group and yet prophesying, Moses’ response recognized that God had not excluded the two from a gift of the spirit, so how could he? When John makes a similar observation to Jesus, the response is similar. Both Moses and Jesus responded with an open and tolerant heart. They were not threatened or jealous of God’s gifts to other people.
We know that Joshua and John were very good men with the very best intentions at heart but judging from Moses’ and Jesus’ responses, Joshua and John needed to be more open-minded and open-hearted.
If you think about it, it’s easy to become critical or territorial or too controlling when it comes to our jobs and the roles we play at work or in ministry. It is also easy to look down on other Christians who are not Catholic, but the Church declares that they are our brothers and sisters in Christ by baptism. We mean well but we can forget that God calls many into action and we should be more amiable and helpful when we encounter them. But this doesn’t mean that if God calls someone, they automatically become a successor to Moses or Jesus! There is always a path of development and conversion that comes with service! Good leaders are first of all good followers, servants and teachers!
The most important dimension of today’s theme is that God calls everyone to be active in their faith and they are to be encouraged so that they don’t become like the rich referred to in James’ letter. Faith in action is what it means for us to be a prophetic people. There are many opportunities for us to be involved in our faith communities. As you reflect on your own life and activity, listen for God’s call to you! Consider how enriched your life can be by sharing it with others and how enriched their lives will be by having you in theirs! May God bless you always! +++ Fr. Peter