What a challenge we have presented to us in today’s readings!
At the cost of being simplistic … we might say they present warnings to us about arrogance … about thinking we are so in control that we forget about our dependence and relationship with God.
James reminds us not to be so self-reliant that we factor God out of the equation. He reminds us that we need to find God in the realities of our daily lives … to be in harmony with God’s will … God’s plan for us.
In the Gospel … the Apostle John displays the arrogance of a closed mind.
John seems to indicate that only the followers of Jesus … that small club … should get credit for bringing Christ to the people.
Jesus quickly corrects his spiritual elitism … and broadens the view … “whoever is not against us … is for us”, Jesus says. Jesus seems to indicate that wherever there is love … and service … there is God. Wherever there is the invocation of Jesus’ name … He is there. The work of the kingdom belongs to all of us … not just a select group.
May we recognize that we each have a contribution to make in spreading the kingdom … and that all of our gifts come from a loving God. We are in this together … let us recognize the spirit of God among us and call upon the name of the Lord.