Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (9: 38-40) in which Jesus says, ‘No one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me, anyone who is not against us is for us’.
Fr Paul says this little incident must be read in the light of a similar incident in the Book of Numbers.
There Moses had appointed seventy Elders, and the spirit came down on them. Then it was reported to Moses that others were prophesying and, like Jesus, he too, refused to stop them.
We should be alert to the presence of the Spirit, wherever the work of the Spirit is being done even if that is beyond the official boundaries of the Church. Whether it is the work of the Spirit or not must be judged in the wider context of Christian Values. The Spirit may be manifested in many unexpected circumstances and people, and we should be prepared to recognise it, cautiously perhaps, but readily.
Fr Paul invites us to reflect on today’s Gospel lesson: let us always be ready and prepared to recognise the Holy Spirit.