Robert Barron of Word on Fire Ministries gave a terrific homily a couple years ago at Church of St. Mary’s in Chicago. The homily is entitled, “Would that Everyone Could be a Prophet.”
From the readings, we see Joshua being jealous of the prophesying by the two elders who were not at the meeting with Moses. In the gospel, we see John complaining that some people are casting out demons in Jesus’ name, even though they were not part of his apostles. In both cases, Moses and Jesus chastise the complainers for trying to stop these works of God. Also, Fr. Barron tells us, this is the root of the problem between Saul and David, and Saul’s jealously of the divine gifts to David, threw Israel into civil war.
Fr. Barron reminds us that when we sow dissension, jealousy and turf wars, we waste the grace that God has extended to us. Instead, he challenges us to look for the grace in us, and in those around us, and cooperate with it:
The spiritual life is really about one thing: it’s about our cooperation with grace….Grace–God’s love–is surging into the world at all times, according to God’s purposes, God’s will. Our job is pretty simple: it’s to notice it and once we notice it to cooperate with it, get on board with it. Cooperate. Whether that grace is coming directly to me, or to someone else. Whether it is according to my expectations or outside my expectations…Wherever it appears, get on board, cooperate with it!
When the ego takes over, the flow of grace is blocked. That’s the central tragedy of sin. God’s love wants to surge into the world, but He gives us the privilege of cooperating with it. We can block it if we make our own ego central.
Watch the homily below.