Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: in your name, follow us, deed in my name, cut it off, kingdom of God
Connecting the Gospel …
To the point: What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? It means doing good works “in [his] name.” It means receiving all others who do good “in [his] name.” It means cutting off from ourselves any behaviors that keep us or others from living “in [his] name.” It means, then, taking on both Jesus' single-minded focus (his willingness to pay any price for the sake of the kingdom) and his open-minded acceptance of all the good works and all the good people who are bringing this kingdom about.
… to the First Reading: Moses understood that God is the one who chooses those on whom the spirit will rest Both Moses and Jesus make clear that when God acts through someone, we are not to judge or thwart their efforts, but to accept and respect God's working through whomever God chooses.
… to experience: Spouses spend all their married lives coming to know one another and building a shared identity. Coming to know, understand, and accept the identity of Jesus also takes a lifetime of learning and commitment. But it grants an eternity of fullness of life.We tend to live in closed circles of people because of comfortableness, like-mindedness, and shared values and beliefs. Jesus challenges us to “cut. . . off” from our manner of living any attitudes or behaviors that keep us from recognizing God's presence in a broader circle.