February 26, 2014
In response to people who plan every moment of their lives and expect every plan to succeed by their own doing, St. James said, “..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.’” Jas 4:13-17
The Chapter of James that we read today is entitled: “Warning against Presumption.” Presumption, in this instance, can be taken to mean arrogance. Yet it can also mean taking something to be true that is not really proven to be true – eg. what’s going to happen in the future – and then making other decisions based on that potential untruth. Presumption might also be, placing our own thoughts or prejudices upon others based upon their looks or actions.
In today’s Gospel, the disciples presumed an evil or errant motive on a man who was exorcising demons in the Name of Jesus, because he didn’t follow their group.
Jesus answered them, “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.” Mk 9:38-40
So the moral of today’s readings is to be very careful of presumption. Often, as in the case of the disciples, our presumptions may be based on good motives. The disciples thought they were protecting Jesus. And they, probably internally, were also being a little self-protective and maybe even a little jealous of the man, thinking, “Who was he to horn in on our glory, not even being a disciple himself?”
The reason we don’t presume is to keep ourselves out of trouble. We don’t presume because we can potentially set up bad relationships with others – who may otherwise turn out to be our best of allies. And we don’t presume, because we know that God is in control, and only GOOD can come from God. We just have to keep our focus on seeking the Good in all circumstances – even when we may presume them to be bad.
God Bless you always, beloved!
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