September 26, 2021 Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time B Numbers 11:25-29; James5:1-6; Mark 9:38-43, 47-48 One of the things we learn about as we grow older is the immense importance of our attitude toward others. We learn that we can help another person greatly by seeing them as good and valuable. Through this we can foster a healthy and growth-filled relationship with them. On the other hand, there are many things that can hurt a relationship: harsh words, selfishness, anger, resentment, and lack of forgiveness. But one of the most destructive elements that can cause damage in a relationship is suspicion. It can even make rational people conjure up the most bizarre and ugly ideas about others. In the Gospel for this weekend, the disciples, of all people, become suspicious of someone who was driving out demons in the name of Jesus. They tried to stop him because “he does not follow” them. [A better translation of this is: “he is not of our company.”] This suspicion shows that the disciples, even though they have been with Jesus for some time, still need a fair amount of growth in faith and in understanding who Jesus really is, that He calls EVERYONE to faith in Him, and that God does not play favorites. If Jesus sees the good in others, even those who do not think or act exactly as we do, perhaps this is a call for all of us to try to do the same. It is good to remember that we are ALL created by a loving Father in His image. Therefore, our prayer might be that we look for this image in one another, especially in those who are different than we are. And rather than look for areas that divide us, let us search for the good, work together as God’s children, and overcome the damaging effects of human suspicion with love. It’s the only way!