Sunday, September 20, 2015
Reflection: Mark 9:30-37
25th Week in Ordinary Time — Mark 9:30-37
Jesus and his disciples are traveling through Galilee. He was teaching his disciples and he said to them: “The Son of Man will be handed over and will be killed! Three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” His disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying to them. Would what he foretold really come true? How could that be? Jesus was a great teacher and Rabbi. However, they hesitated to question him.
They arrived in Capernaum and when they were settled in the house where they were staying, Jesus asked them: “What were you arguing about during our journey?” However, the disciples remained silent. They were embarrassed. The topic of their conversation had been “who was the greatest disciple.” Most likely, they knew that Jesus would not approve of their conversation. What would Jesus think of them if they told him the truth?
Jesus then tells his disciples: “Whoever wishes to be first shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Jesus then calls a little child over to him and says to the disciples: “Whoever receives one child in my name, receives me! And whoever receives me, receives the One who sent me.”
Power and renown. In our world, this is what many people long for and strive for! Think of all the movie stars, rock singers, models and political candidates who vie for publicity, power and renown. Do they actually believe that this will bring them happiness? Or are they simply caught up in the world’s values? Jesus calls us to find our happiness and security in him, not in fame or fortune.
Naturally, we all desire that others think well of us. And in and of itself, this is not bad. We get into trouble when we are driven to look good or to achieve in order to achieve some status, honor or esteem. We believe that then people will approve of us and of what we have accomplished.
Today I invite you to take some time and ask yourself: How important is power, renown and admiration to me? Do I consciously or unconsciously strive to look good? To have others admire me? Or am I content to be simple, pure and loving like a child? There is no guile in young children. They simply are who they are. They trust. They love. They enjoy life. And yet we adults often consider them immature. And in many ways they are. Yet, they can be a great example to us of what truly is important in life. Today observe a child. Imitate a child. You may have a wonderful day!