Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
The central position of Christ in the Church
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. 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
Today the subject of belonging to the church is very actual, not because it is a matter of discussion among the theologians, but because there are faithful people who state they belong to the flock, but they do not live inside the fold. There are also faithful people who follow Jesus Christ, but they live in other flocks. The first are the ones who say “Yes for Jesus, but not for the Church”; the second are the ones who belong to the reformed churches ( Lutherans, Calvinists, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Baptists ) and the subject of the ecumenism should be introduced for them. Both of them, however, invite us to ask what the Church is. In the today passage it is clear that in the group of the apostles an ecclesial “us” have been already structured: “we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us”. This would be not a problem if the people belonging to that “us” would not be tempted to replace the Master in the thoughts and in the decisions as when Peter opposes himself to Jesus to prevent him to go to die on the cross. Also today it happens to think that Jesus Christ conferred some powers to the Church and that he acts only as the guarantor for it. Some other times he is mentioned to justify the position against the teaching of the church, in name of the freedom which he has brought to us. Also, other times he is considered an “operator of justice” and he becomes the justification of every social revolution, it does not matter whether peaceful or violent. In all these behaviours the trial is to replace Jesus Christ in the thoughts and in the decisions. It is the original sin of rebellion which returns into the Christian community and which negatively impact on the relationship Teacher-disciple. It seems to us that the only freedom of the church is to follow Jesus Christ, in the thinking, in the sentiments and in the mandate for evangelization, being at the service of the men, ready to suffer the violence of whichever type it could be. With reference to the ecumenism, the communion among the churches is a good thing, but the Holy Spirit blows where and when he wants. Jesus Christ, in the today passage, leaves all the possible margin to the freedom and to the diversity, because our sufferings are not the counting factor, but the fact that the all of us operate looking for a form of communion among the churches. Often the diversities which are born from the freedom are wealth. In the gospel the symbol of the universal church is the boat. During the miraculous fishing Jesus says to Peter: “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” …..When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish …. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats» (Lk 5,4-7). Here we are, the boat without Peter represents the reformed churches which, in name of Jesus Christ, act to fish men in the large sea of the life also them.