Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Wednesday 27 February 2019
Gospel: Mark 9:38-40
Today’s Gospel narrates quite a beautiful and actual example of the pedagogy of Jesus. It shows us how He helped His disciples to perceive and to overcome the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod. Someone who did not belong to the community used the name of Jesus to drive out devils. John, the disciple, sees this and forbids it: “We have stopped him”. He was jealous to see that the Holy Spirit is working even in ordinary people or in people who were outside the ranks of the chosen.
He thinks that being a disciple, he can have a monopoly on Jesus, and because of this, he wants to forbid that others use the name of Jesus to do good. This was the closed mentality of the “chosen People, a separated People!”. St. James adds: “for where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. It was this kind of jealousy that led Cain to kill his brother Abel”.
Jesus responds: “You must not stop him”. For Jesus, what is important is not if the person forms part of the community or not, but rather if the person does the good which the community should do. Jesus, the Master, is the center and the model of formation given to the disciples. By His attitudes He is an example of the Kingdom. He embodies the love of God and reveals it. Many small gestures show this witness of life with which Jesus marked His presence in the life of the disciples, preparing them for life and for their mission. This was His way of giving a human form to the experience which He had of God, the Father.