Mk 3:22-30 United
I hope you remember seeing the movie or reading the story of how the heroic passengers of United flight 93 gathered together and prayed the Our Father before storming the pilot’s cockpit and successfully averting another national tragedy. United! They were gathered together in their one belief in Jesus Christ and they died so that others might live. The plane’s appearance is strikingly similar to that of the Cross.
Think for a moment of all the great things we would be able to accomplish if all Christians were united in heart, mind and soul. I do not mean that we all have to lose our identity. No. But if we were all united in truth and love imagine what wonders the world would see!
The Lord came to unite, not divide. He unites his flock. He gathers the wheat! God unites, the devil divides. He uses the sins of pride, vanity and sensuality to create division within us and among ourselves and reinforces it with animosity! I deserve this award more than they do! If I don’t get what he (she) has…Sin entrenches us in our position. There is no progress with sin.
The Pharisees and Scribes could not keep up with Jesus. He’s just too much for them. He’s just too big! So, they resort to fear: “He is possessed by Beelzebul” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” Fear is not the fruit of ignorance alone, but rather the result of a dab of pride mixed in there.
There are those who say that religion divides; that religion needs an enemy in order to exist. I would say that the Pharisees and the Scribes picked the wrong enemy and they no longer exist! I would say that an Enemy will always exist because of religion! Sin – not religion - is the root of all evil, and we should not be surprised that Christianity continues to generate and attract so much hatred. After all, Christ is still the center of Christianity! He is the one mediator of a new covenant. His second coming will not take away sin but will bring us salvation!
So the goal must be unity. We need to stick together. We need to stop attacking each other and begin to attack the problem. “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” I used to think that that quote came from Abraham Lincoln. I should have known that a wise man like him would have learned it from a wiser man. If we are wasting time constantly shoring up our own defenses how will we ever overcome the gates of hell? If we are knocking each other down with our petty little differences, how will we ever knock down the walls of Beelzebul? For this reason the Lord spoke out against his Apostles and in favor of the man who was driving out demons in his name but not counted among the Twelve. The Lord said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me, for whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mk 9:40)
And now for the clincher: “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” The Lord and his co-workers gather; whereas the devil and his co-workers scatter. (Mt 12:30)