Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 2:12, 17-20, Psalm 54:3-4, 5,6-8, Letter of Saint James 3:16-4:3, & Mark 9:30-37
When Saint Bernard was asked what the four cardinal virtues were, he replied, "Humility, humility, humility—and humility!"
In today's Gospel narrative, the disciples of Jesus, while on their way to Capernaum, discussed who amongst them was the greatest. The disciples, at this point, were clueless about Jesus and His mission. Even as Jesus foretells, for the second time, that betrayal and death await Him in Jerusalem, they continue to dream of sharing His glory when He declares Himself as the Messiah in the Holy City. Let's imagine their conversation:
Peter: "Of course, it is me! Jesus did call me the "Rock" on which His community is built?"
John: "He loves me the most!"
Judas Iscariot: "It is me. I am the one who is trusted with the money. The world is ruled by money, and I am in control."
Phillip: "Remember when He had that catering problem? He turned to me for advice, and five-thousand hungry people were fed."
I suspect that the other eight had similar reasons. Because of this argument, Jesus assembled the Twelve and said, "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all." His message may seem like impractical advice for anyone wanting a "promotion." However, it is a reminder to us that we can be exalted with Christ in heaven only after following in His footsteps and carrying our crosses with humility.
The disciples eventually came to understand our Lord's teachings and embraced the Good News of His message. During their many years of ministry, they used the precise words that Jesus spoke to them to teach, preach, and heal others. The Word spread throughout the world, and it is still spreading today. In my eyes, other than Judas, they were all great. Now it is our turn.
Question of the Day: Do you believe that being humble is a sign of strength and not weakness?
Prayer: "I am the Good Shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me."