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Friends, today in the Gospel, John complains to Jesus that someone not of their group was driving out demons in Jesus’ name. Jesus responds, “Do not prevent him. . . . Whoever is not against us is for us.” What a wonderful, generous attitude! 

John was undoubtedly angry that someone outside of their little circle was going to get credit. If you think that this sort of thing only happened in biblical times, you haven’t spent too much time around the Church! I’m a proud churchman, and I love and admire all of the great people who do so much for Christ’s kingdom, and for very little compensation. But I’ve also been around long enough to see this problem on parish staffs, in diocesan offices, within rectories, and among parish communities. We get so tied up in our little games and protecting our turf and making sure things go according to the bureaucratic structures that we have established that we forget what the mission is about.

What Jesus saw was that the mission is what matters. Bringing God’s love to the world, being a conduit of grace: that’s what matters. All of our personal glory, position, privilege—all of that is finally a matter of indifference.