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Lk 9: 46-50

An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.” 

John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.


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Presume Good Will

There’s a fine line between being childlike and being childish. In today’s Gospel, the disciples are being childish. Rather than scolding them for their behavior, Jesus recognizes “the intention of their hearts,“ and gently redirects them to be more childlike. Still not picking up on what Jesus is laying down, John recounts the disciples’ rebuke of the exorcist who didn’t “follow in their company.” And again, Jesus provides correction with all love and kindness, essentially telling the disciples not to judge others’ motives. Ignatian spirituality calls this the “presupposition;” the idea that while Jesus knows a person’s heart and true intentions, we are not Jesus, and as such, we should be “more eager to put a good interpretation” on another’s speech or actions rather than to condemn them. Furthermore, if we cannot provide a favorable interpretation, we should seek clarification, and “correct the person with love.” 

When have you presumed ill intent or judged the motives of others? Today, ask God for the grace to be more childlike than childish, to presuppose goodwill rather than judge the motives of others.

—Jackie Schulte is the Dean of Faculty Formation at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska. 

 

 


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Prayer 

Lord Christ, help us to see what it is that joins us together,
not what separates us.
For when we see only what it is that makes us different,
we too often become aware of what is wrong with others.
We see only their faults and weaknesses,
interpreting their actions as flowing from malice or hatred rather than fear.
Even when confronted with evil, Lord, you forgave and sacrificed yourself
rather than sought revenge.
Teach us to do the same by the power of your Spirit.
Amen 

—William Breault, SJ


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Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.
For the abolition of the death penalty – The Pope Video 09 – September 2022
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