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.