Liturgical Colour : Green
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to trust in the Lord and put all of our attention to fulfill whatever He has come upon this world to do. He came into this world to bring goodness into it, and to bring the light of God to unveil the darkness that has been in this world and close our eyes from the truth. He brought to us the salvation in God, to free us from the depredations of evil.
And in today’s Gospel, Jesus wanted to show His disciples, and all of us, that we should never be exclusive in our work for the Lord, but we must be inclusive. That is because all good works ultimately have their source in God, and all good works have their meaning in serving the purposes of the Lord. Doing good can never mean doing the purpose of the devil.
All said, in this matter, we cannot separate and distinguish between good actions and faith. As St. James has often stressed in his letter, that faith cannot be good without concrete actions, which are good actions, and neither can actions be truly good without faith. Both faith and works are related closely to each other, and indeed, when someone does a good work, we should not stop him, especially without knowing first his or her background. He may be just one of the faithful like ourselves!
What Jesus is trying to tell us today is that we must neither be judgmental or be exclusivist in our attitude. We have to try our best to incorporate others in our good services to the Lord, and that means, rather than condemn others or see them as a competition with our own works, we should instead seek to reach out to them and bring them to our fold, that we may work together as one, and achieve even greater things.
One example which we can use in this world today is the works of the various Christian churches and followers of the Lord, many of whom are separated from the unity that is in the Church, the One and only, and yet at the same time, these people, in their separated state, do still do good things for the sake of the faithful. They did good things just as we do.
We should not outright condemn them for what they do and try to stop what they are doing. If any, if we want to condemn them at all, condemn them only if they persist in their separation from the One Church of God, and role in perpetuating that division. Yes, we should all, first above all, seek and work towards unity, and we must make sure that whatever we do are in tandem with each others’ works.
Let us therefore unite our efforts and bring all of our good works as one, to serve the Lord and His people. Bar not the good works of those who do them, even outside of our Church, but focus instead our effort on bringing them back into the fold, that our efforts may be more united than ever before, and all our works may transcend all the evils of division that had wracked our Church all this while.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all seek to do good always in our lives, changing our ways that we may do good for the sake of God and His people. Open our hearts to the Lord and welcome Him into our hearts, walk graciously in His ways and may our examples be a shining example to all others as well. Do good, be humble, and remain faithful, brothers and sisters in Christ. Be inclusive and never be judgmental, seek reunion and unity rather than condemnation and rejection. Amen.