When I was in intensive training to become a Montessori teacher, I was amazed by the powerful unity and friendship that my classmates and I felt with one another. One of my roommates had travelled halfway around the world from Cebu in the Philippines, and another had travelled from Mozambique, Africa to live through a frigid year in Minnesota in order to study Montessori education. Among my classmates and I, there were Muslims, Catholics, Christians, and others who claimed no religious affiliation at all; however, the bond and closeness we experienced with one another ran so deep.
Today's Gospel reminds me of the unity despite so many differences that I experienced during my time in Minnesota. Jesus tells us, “Whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:40) Furthermore, He rebukes us not to prevent anyone who is doing good in His name. During my experience at training, I would reflect that, despite the fact that each one of us came from different backgrounds, nationalities, beliefs, and life experiences, we had all come together in service of the child. This is what had brought us together and united us so profoundly. I wondered if this was not only a calling to serve and educate "the child," as in children universally throughout the world, but more profoundly, if our calling as Montessori educators was ultimately a calling in service of the Child, Jesus. Whether we were consciously aware of this or not, it was He who had called each of us to this work as a way of serving Him through His children.
In Matthew 19:14 Jesus says not to prevent the little children from coming to Him. Additionally, in today’s Gospel, Jesus invites us not to prevent anyone from doing good work that gives glory to His name. Despite differences we might see, "whoever is not against us, is for us."
Let us live our lives in the power of Jesus’ name and remain open to the goodness of others, even if who they are or what they do may seem different from our own lives or experiences. Ultimately, it is Jesus who brings us together and there is so much to be learned from other people. Despite differences, we can remain united in His name.
Here in our Blessed is She community, we have thousands of women from various experiences, ages, cultures, and walks of life. Let us build one another up by drawing closer to Jesus and to one another through the power of His love. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Mary Catherine Craige enjoys spending her time creating art, writing, and playing her Irish harp. She uses her experience as a Montessori teacher and catechist to serve young children through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. As a life coach for business leaders, she encourages and challenges women in all walks of life to more deeply discover their purpose and live their full potential. You can find out more about her here.