26th Sunday Ordinary Time September 30, 2012
Go! Go forth! And do What? Whoops we are the beginning!
The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders. Two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp.
They were not in the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also. A young man quickly told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp”, Joshua, son of Nun, said, “Moses, my lord, stop them.”
Listen to Moses “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!”
Today’s lesson begins with a question. Hey who the heck do some folks think they are? Who gave them the authority to operate beyond my idea of authority? Who the heck said they could venture beyond the reserved and restricted limits established by many?
Who could Moses be speaking to? Is it possible the Holy Spirit could fall on you? Or what about that neighbor who is below you or someone who works for you or those we are absolutely sure we are better than they? Stop – get back in back your box ‘er’ is that my box?
Today the Church is probing the limits of our human and spiritual insight into our own individual view of how spiritual things are supposed to be? It questions the limits we place on the ability and the authority of even the Holy Spirit to operate. Do we know it is our human nature that tends to do that?
Further it challenges and reveals the voice we all tend to listen to. We all know that little negative voice that sits on our shoulder. It can create obstacles and doubt! It can tell us we are the expert in certain areas and someone is trespassing on our turf. Or more often it can tell us we can’t be that spiritually good. We are not good enough, don’t know enough, were not gifted or qualified, or certified, nor trained, or not ordained, and anyway it’s not our job – it is reserved for a someone else, a higher authority, maybe the clergy, theologians or the scholars but not me.
Don’t let that obstinate or disqualifying voice overpower the Holy Spirit. Don’t let that voice trip us up and prevent us from venturing out into our next spiritual adventure – Simply open our hearts and say yes to the spirit and then venture from the water well where we can begin giving passers by a drink from the wellspring of spiritual life.
Again we hear in the gospel of Matthew, John, the beloved disciple, say to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
“Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
These stories show we humans can have human road blocks to the Holy Spirit. When another operates outside our comfort zone we want to disqualify and stop them. In a sense we would have to operate outside our own human made tent. And for many of us operating outside our tent means operating outside our comfort zone where we may encounter the real pressure of being spiritually stretched.
Will we stretch to see with the eyes of our spirit or accept the blinders our human condition tends to accumulate over time? Are we willing to take a risk? Are willing to return to the fountain of our youth, go back to basics and begin to draw a new spiritual picture? Are we willing to become box openers who actively search for new possibilities beyond our current human limitations seeking to transform the world in Jesus name.
God is far bigger than any Tent and far bigger than the human limitations we or the world can create.
Sometimes, it seems we don’t realize the Holy Spirit instantaneously escapes any human limitation we invent.
In case we have forgotten the spirit of the Lord is bestowed on all those who attend Mass every time, particularly during the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist. No one gets excluded not even the sinner or the one for numerous reason is unable to receive communion.
The purpose of the Mass is to bestow the Holy Spirit on each and everyone who attends. Jesus Christ sends the Holy Spirit which seeks to light a spiritual fire in each one present!
The real presence of Jesus Christ is made present in the Body of Christ. You and I, all of us are being prepared for the final dismissal. Go, Go Forth get out of the tent, get out our limiting human tent. Take the Holy Spirit we have received out into the world as real food to encounter and feed a hungry world. Today is the Day we are sent on mission. Go and do not confine the Holy Spirit to our human and secular world view!
Or will we hesitate and withdraw, thereby facilitating the enclosure and the confining of the spirit within the jail of our human expectations and limits?
The Lord is asking will you listen to my words – fall to your knees for me – venture outside your comfortable tent and Go where you have never been? Seek to open and touch by drawing upon the unseen spirit of imagination that lives within the observer and hearer of the spirit of the word fashioned in the picture.