Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Sept. 19, 2021

Reflection for Sept. 19, 2021

Signs of greatness

What could a child teach us?

by Sister Mary Kabat

As I read the Gospel for this 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time  (St. Mark, 9:30-37), I kept my focus on Jesus. My heart filled with sadness as he told his closest followers that he would be put to death. And what were they focused on – who of them was the greatest! How did Jesus respond? He used it as another teachable moment to form their hearts and minds. Wrapping his arms around a child in the house, probably one of his disciples’ children, he taught them that to be first, one must be last; to be great, one must be the servant.

Haven’t we all wanted at times to be the greatest, to be first, to be the best, to be the one getting the attention, the one who wins the argument … and have everyone know it. But in the Second Reading (St. James, 3:16-4:3) he shows us that he did learn Jesus’ lesson that day.  James tells us that being wise is to be “peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruit.” Doesn’t our world need us to be Jesus’ followers now more than ever? It is not about who is right, who is strong, who has the power, who can fight. It is about who knows the truth, who will do what is good for self and others, who has compassion for others, who will strive for peace … even if no one may know our name, like the little child Jesus hugged. Jesus knows!

May God bless us with every gift of the Spirit,
so that we may serve one another in Jesus’ name,
for the glory and honor of God.


09/17/2021 6:29 am

Mary, this is so beautiful. So precious .... healing medicine for the soul. It's as if you have 'discovered' and are now 'telling' and 'sharing' with us the "secrets of the kin[g]dom of heaven," just as JESUS did. JESUS 'knew' and understood the 'secrets' of G O D's ways, and this kind of utter humility .... 'vulnerability,' as Renee names it ... is the key to the kin[g]dom's treasures.

"More precious than silver; more costly than gold; more beautiful than diamonds," as the song goes .... so is the Love and the Life and the Light that JESUS shares. And yes ...... how readily the 'little child' in-us 'knows' this. How good and how wisely clever is JESUS to remind us, and help us remember .....

Your message is the balm we need, Mary. Your message is the healing balm of 'truth' we need to hear. And only 'truth' will 'save / salve' us ......

S/He-Who-Is-Truth-is-Holy Spirit. "Come, HOLY SPIRIT, Come!"

Thank you, Mary, for being an open instrument of 'spirit' and 'truth .....' Such as these the Father seeks ... [Jn. 4: 23-24]

Interestingly, the world 'vulnerable,' used by Renee, is derived from the Latin noun vulnus ("wound"). The word 'humble' originates from the Latin word humilis, meaning "low." And 'humus,' "of earth."

We, the wounded, of wounded Earth, are in need of the healing balm of G O D / Holy Spirit ..... the healing balm of 'the kin[g]dom of heaven,' as JESUS taught us.

09/17/2021 9:07 am

Beautiful reflection - reminding us of our tendency to want to be right and the best. But we are called to be compassionate and to work for what is good.

Marlene Burton
09/17/2021 10:37 am

Thank you Mary. I love the gentle way you shared Jesus' heart. "Even if no one knows our name..." Yes.....But He does. The older I get, how comforting is THAT truth.

Mary, you also mentioned compassion. Thank you for YOUR compassion and for ALWAYS taking the time to write our names when you assure us in your return letter that you sisters are praying for the intentions we send to you. And you also use the name of the person for whom we ask prayers. Like the Lord, you KNOW OUR NAMES. Thank you.

Love to you and the Sisters.


09/17/2021 3:08 pm

Sister Mary, you truly are what we are all called to be - a servant of God. Thank you.

Irene Whatley
09/17/2021 8:06 pm

This was a truly heart warming reflection. It was so comforting and so good to be reminded of being compassionate.

Add Your Comment

This is not displayed anywhere publicly.

Weekly Reflections Email

Be notified every time a Weekly Reflection is added!

Sign Up Now

Newsletter Signup

Want to receive our Newsletter?

Sign Up Now