Father Edward Hopkins, LC
to Jesus, “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.”
Introductory Prayer:Lord Jesus, I
believe in you and in all the expressions of
your goodness and love in my life. I believe in
your Eucharist, where you have made yourself my bread
and a prisoner of love to teach me goodness
of heart. I trust that you can train my heart
to react more as you do, with forgiveness and
blessing. I love you, Lord; I wish to love you
with my prayer and increased charity. Mary, teach me
to love with the heart of your son.
Petition:Make my heart more like yours, Lord.
1. A Son of
Thunder: The young apostle says with uncontrolled fervor, “We
tried to prevent him.” They obviously acted first and
consulted Jesus only afterwards. What moved them? What so often
moves us––a sense of righteous zeal! We know or
think we know what is right. “Let no one
step out of line, or we will let him know!”
Moreover, this person “does not follow us,” so he
should not be able to act in your name! What
is this “Son of Thunder” missing? Is not the
mightiest deed an act of charity? How often do I
make rash judgments without really knowing the full picture
and without consulting Jesus first?
2. Judgments of Gospel Charity:
Jesus does not hesitate to offer a positive judgment. Mighty
deeds in his name can be found only in
one speaking well of him. Moreover, beyond logic, Jesus
possesses a deeper insight. He reads all actions with a
heart of charity. His judgments will always be colored
by his looking to find the very best in
each person. His every action will be interpreted by love.
In such manner he interprets well the actions of
the woman who wipes his feet with her tears
and hair, of the paralytic lowered from the roof, of
the tax collector who climbed a tree to see
him. Do I judge others with a heart filled with
gospel charity, or am I very quick to spot
faults? Are my impulses modified by my experience of
Christ’s love for me?
3. For or Against Him? Jesus presents
a simple principle for judging. Unless a person shows
himself to be against us, consider him for us.
We should fight to help others be “for us.” “Believe
all the good you hear and only believe the
evil you see.” This supposition of goodness runs contrary
to our tendency to judge and speak evil of others
with a minimum of evidence while demanding disproportionate proofs
to credit them for good. Is it my job
to find deformities in a member of the Body of
Christ? A good person sees with eyes of goodness.
Why can I not find excuses for the weakness
and failings I see in others? Why is it so
easy to speak poorly of others, to point out
their defects and to fall into slander or gossip? Would
the answer be found in the narrow or stingy
dimensions of my own heart?
Conversation with Christ: Dear
Lord, grant me a heart overflowing with your love.
Make charity my first reaction, my constant hope and my
irresistible tendency. Open my eyes in faith to see
you working in people of all backgrounds and faiths.
Help me to dismiss all personal, unnecessary judgments with
an assumption of charity. May I win souls with my
goodness and never be without charity in my fight
for your Kingdom.
Resolution:I will counter every thought against
charity with two thoughts of charity. I will counter
every word against charity with two words of sincere
charity for the one maligned.