Excluded or Empowered?

I believe that a stranger is just a friend whom I haven’t yet met. This idea is based on what Jesus says in the Gospel reading: “Anyone who is not against you is on your side.”

How many unknown friends has God given to you and me? They are surprise gifts: the strangers we sit next to in Mass, the neighbors we bump into at the grocery store, the co-workers who disagree with our Church’s teachings but are willing to help us do a difficult job, and the odd lady in the church parking lot who doesn’t fit our idea of friendship but who greets us with a smile.

These are unexpected partners in community, sent by God.

The disciples were blinded by pride. They thought they were special because they were Jesus’ closest buddies, his chosen ones. In the first part of this scripture, they want to know which among them is the greatest! It was that old attitude of exclusivity — if you’re not one of us, you’re not as important, you can’t get the same special treatment that I enjoy; you’re inferior.Read More »