Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 137

Nm 11:25-29
Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

Eldad and Medad

We owe a lot to Eldad and Medad.  They are the two that spoke without permission, and without authorization. In a sense they are the precursors to freedom of speech and its descendant the freedom of the press. As independent voices they attested to their belief in the authority in Moses, and the authority granted to the 70 elders. As independent voices, had they seen fit they could also have spoken against those in an organized authority.  Eldad and Medad can be seen as the voices from the camp which is the voice of the people. They are witnesses of truth. Moses knew the importance of these independent voices possibly through his experiences in Egypt where an opposition was silenced and through the repression of slavery. He realized that if a prophesy was true it did not just come from an organized authority but permeated the whole entity; if a prophecy is true it could not be silenced. Jesus confirmed this in his disciples. Jesus was aware that the authoritative voice would do its part in suppressing his gospel message, but the truth of his message was in its preaching by those who found its truth without permission. They preached without the authority and without the enforcement that so often accompanies an authority. The independent voice speaks as a voice to a truth realized, and to its counterpart an injustice exposed. It is interesting to note that when Jesus sent out his disciples he sent out 72 to preach in his name, that is the 70 with official authorization and those two vital independent witnesses…

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