Both/And And/Or Either/Or

On the one hand,

He who is not against us is for us. (Mark 9:40)

The Lord Jesus said so when St. John told him about other disciples casting out demons in His name. ‘They’re casting out demons. They’re doing good. They’re advancing my kingdom. What’s the problem?’

But, on the other hand,

He who does not gather with me scatters. (Luke 11:23)

The Holy Spirit, the divine spirit, comes from Christ. This holy spirit gathers, unites, binds together in love. This holy spirit sets demons to flight; the holy spirit purifies, gives the world a fresh start.

All good things are indeed the work of the Holy Spirit. Good things we do, and good things other people do. All come from the one true source of good. There is no competition among the doers of God’s good works.

st petersBut, by the same token, there is also no neutrality between good and evil. There is no holy spirit of mediocrity, no good-enough-for-government-work holiness. If it is so-so; if it is innocuous; if it is ‘meh,’ then—the Lord says—it is evil.

We can’t go for the silver or the bronze. We have to seek the things that lie above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

And, once we get started, we have to keep going. Because, as the Lord points out, no soul faces greater danger than one who found purification and then turned away.

So let’s get closer. Let’s gather with Christ.

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