Mass Readings: James 4:13-17/Mark 9:38-40

Kingdom, Not Fortress

Jesus didn’t found the Church to play it safe. He founded it to be an army besieging hell. That’s what He meant by “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). It’s what Gabriel meant when he said that Jesus’ kingdom will have no end (Lk 1:33).

The Church doesn’t play defense but offense. So when the apostles tried to reduce the Church to an exclusive club and keep out the riffraff, Jesus refused to play along. The anonymous exorcist in today’s Gospel was doing his mighty work by trusting in Jesus, even though he didn’t have all his membership paperwork in the club filled out. So Jesus welcomes him and reminds the apostles that all who are not against them are for them. The Church is a missionary kingdom, not a fortress.

Prayer: Jesus, help me remember that any friend of Yours is a friend of mine.