A Homily – Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 ©

The Gospel According to Mark – 2018.09.30

Be Accepting of Others

The reading for today comes from a period when the church was experiencing division.

Remember this, the authors of Mark’s gospel, wrote it at least fifty years after Jesus died. Twenty years after Paul wrote his letters, and at least ten years after Jerusalem and its temple had been destroyed by the Roman’s, and the last of the disciples had died.

At this point in time the Church was in a precarious state. It was seen by most to be a minor sect of Judaism, one that was being lawfully persecuted by the traditional elders of Jewish synagogues throughout the Empire.

In reality it had spread well beyond Judaism, and the Pharisaic movement within Judaism which had nurtured it. Christian movement had spread across North Africa, into Rome, North into Gaul, and across Asia Minor.

It was just as much gentile as it was Jewish.

There were many groups who believed they had the authority to teach, even though they were not connected to the Church through the mode of Apostolic succession.

The message from the reading is not that the “heirs” of the church should run down those who they do not see as having a legitimate claim to teach in the name of Jesus, to obstruct them, but to accept common cause with them, and advance in the way.
Do not stop anyone from working a miracle in my name

John said to Jesus, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.

‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.

‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out.’
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Emergence 3.0 – Section Six, The Empire; Part Thirty-seven, Bureaucrat; Chapter Seven, Supervisor

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 273, Sunday
September 30th, 2018

Chapter Seven: Supervisor

In time he became a chief administrator.

His tenure in the bureaucracy had spanned a length of time that seemed impossible, spending years at every position as he advanced through the circuit of offices.

He was not a young man when he was restored to life by the miracle of the Continuum.

He was an Octogenarian now, though, he appeared to be a man in the prime of his life.

Those who had been following his career, began to realize that he was extremely old compared to the average citizen.

The average citizen who followed his life story had been living with it for most of their lives, and he was still fascinating to them.

He was a paragon of virtue.

He had made a personal spiritual journey that was marked by the stations in society that he had transitted, going from rebel and outcast, from condemned prisoner, to the highest places in the Imperial administration.

This was noted as more than a curiosity by other administrators at his level, and though he was universally admired, he was also the subject of vicious jealousy

He had made a journey in the space of one lifetime (perhaps two), that the Imperial cult taught the people it would take hundreds of lives, and reincarnations to complete.

When there was no place left for him to ascend to, the Empire ordered him to be drafted into military service, marking a second change in caste and station.

It was another miracle for the people to behold.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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