Holy Father Pope Francis while addressing the faithful gathered at St. Peter’s Square reflected on the day’s Gospel (Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48), emphasizing Jesus’ invitation to appreciate how God works through everyone. Pope Francis characterized this passage of the Gospel when the disciples prevented an outsider from casting demons as a one of the teaching moments in the life of Jesus and his disciples.

As reported by Vatican news, The Pontiff remarked that “John, and the other disciples, demonstrate a closed attitude regarding a good action because it was done by an outsider. Jesus instead appears much freer, completely open to the freedom of the Spirit of God, whose action is not limited by any boundary or by any enclosure”. Further, His Holiness added, “In this case, Jesus teaches by his own attitude what interior freedom is to his disciples of all times. This attitude can be an expression of zeal or come from the desire to protect an authentically charismatic experience of a founder or leader. However, it can at times be a ‘competition’ that someone else will take away new followers, and thus we do not succeed in appreciating the good that others do” simply because they are not one of us. This is the invitation that Jesus gives us today. He calls us not to think according to the categories of ‘friend or enemy’, ‘us or them’, ‘who’s on the inside / who’s on the outside’, but to go beyond, to open the heart so as to recognize God’s presence and his action even in unusual and unpredictable areas and people who are not part of our circle.”

His Holiness concluded his remarks by asking that Mary, the model of the one who docilely receives God’s surprises, might help us to recognize the signs of the Lord’s presence in our midst, discovering Him wherever He manifests Himself, even in the most unthinkable and unusual situations.