Rev. Fr. E. MORDI
In Christianity, we do not talk about minding one’s business because that would mean encouraging one to be selfish and self-centered and mind you, these are vices which Christians cannot be associated with.
After Cain killed Abel and was interrogated by God, he replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper”? In Christianity, we are called to be one another’s keeper. We are called to be our brother and sister’s keeper and that would require minding their business.
By coming into the world, Jesus encroached into our business in a positive way and by so doing changed our destiny forever. Man had sinned for as scripture says “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 6:23). John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that anyone who believes in himmight not perish but have everlasting life”. John 1:14 says “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and webeheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth”. That was God minding our business so that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10b). We cannot stay afar and watch our brothers and sisters die in sin and say that is their business. The question would be, did you do anything about it and will your answer be like that of Cain “Am I my brother’s keeper”?
Every word and action of Jesus was one of minding humanity’s business. The bible says, “While we were enemies ofGod, Jesus died for us” (Roman 5:10). We don’t even need one another’s permission to advise or pray that they come into relationship with Jesus. There is the story of Jesus in Luke 5 getting into the boat of Peter without Peter’s permission and it was an encounter that was beneficial to Peter and his companions materially and spiritually because, apart from the fact that Peter benefited materially after heeding the word of Jesus to cast his net into the deep, they also benefitted spiritually because they were called into ministry and their assignment was to become fishers of men. What an encounter you might say but it was one that didn’t require Peter’s permission for Jesus to mind their business. In Luke 19, we are told Jesus was at the house of Zacchaeus and that again was another story of Jesus minding another’s business and that encounter resulted in Zacchaeus renouncing sin and receiving salvation.
Believers are a family belonging to the family of God, and our commission is to mind one another’s business Matt 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age”.
The very day we gave our lives to Jesus, we are no longer our own and so everything we do affects the body of Christ. Our lives affect God’s reputation (1 Peter 2:12). When we call ourselves by Christ’s name, His reputation is tied to ours, if people have reason not to believe us, they may not believe in God. Believers are a family, and when an individual within the family errs, or goes astray, we do not say it’s their business because it is sure going to have ripple effects on the family. Instead, we mind their business and be our brother’s keeper by calling them to order or praying that they come into relationship with Christ or full communion with the Church.
We are not called to mind our business but to mind one another’s business and to be one brother’s keeper. In fact, our motto should be one for all and all for one. Remember Jesus says that on the last day, we would be told, when I was hungry, you fed me, when I was thirsty, you gave me water to drink, I was a stranger, you made me welcomed, I was naked, you clothed me, I was sick, you came to visit me, I was in prison, you came to see me. In other words, you were there when I needed some physical and spiritual guidance and you fed me with the word of God, when I was hungry for God and was sick spiritually. I wasn’t able to go to Church as usual and got entangled in bad companies and missed Church and Masses and became weak spiritually and got myself a second wife and had concubines which became prison for me, you came to visit me and to encourage me and pray for me. You left your own business and minded my business and my spiritual welfare became your business and priority. For whatsoever we do to the least of the brothers, we do to him, and whatsoever we neglected to do to the least of the brothers, we do unto me (Cf. Matthew 25:31-46). Each of us as Christians sent on a mission by the LORD through his Church must take seriously the business of being salt and light in the world. If we see a brother or sister going astray, we must mind their business by calling them to order. This is our mission. This is our vocation.