Ps 54:3-4, 5, 6-8
The Lord upholds my life.
25TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 1 / (Green)
1st Reading: Wis 2:12, 17-20
Let us set a trap for the righteous, for he annoys us and opposes our way of life; he reproaches us for our breaches of the Law and accuses us of being false to our upbringing.
Let us see the truth of what he says and find out what his end will be. If the righteous is a son of God, God will defend him and deliver him from his adversaries.
Let us humble and torture him to prove his self-control and test his patience. When we have condemned him to a shameful death, we may test his words.
2nd Reading: Jas 3:16—4:3
Wherever there is jealousy and ambition, you will also find discord and all that is evil. Instead, the wisdom that comes from above is pure and peace-loving. Persons with this wisdom show understanding and listen to advice; they are full of compassion and good works; they are impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow peace reap a harvest of justice.
What causes these fights and quarrels among you? Is it not your cravings that make war within your own selves? When you long for something you cannot have, you kill for it and when you do not get what you desire, you squabble and fight. The fact is, you do not have what you want because you do not pray for it. You pray for something and you do not get it because you pray with the wrong motive of indulging your pleasures.
Gospel: Mk 9:30-37
After leaving that place, they made their way through Galilee; but Jesus did not want people to know where he was because he was teaching his disciples. And he told them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into hands of men. They will kill him, but three days after he has been killed, he will rise.” The disciples, however, did not understand these words and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they did not answer because they had been arguing about who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve and said to them, “If someone wants to be first, let him be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child, placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around him he said to them, “Whoever welcomes a child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not me but the One who sent me.”
READ: Jesus continued to teach His disciples what He would undergo as a Messiah. This left them confused and uncomprehending. Because of this, they preoccupied themselves with talk of greatness in contrast to the humble, suffering Messiah that Jesus would become. So Jesus had to teach them again about what true greatness means.
REFLECT: There are people who don’t want to understand especially if the truth is something that shakes their world. They would rather continue not knowing. Amidst this stubbornness, Jesus again patiently teaches His disciples on the true fate of the Messiah. But this time, by teaching them what true greatness means, that it is not all about position of power and authority but of humility and powerlessness, of meekness and gentleness as embodied by a child. Perhaps this is a gentler approach for the disciples to later on understand that saving others entails death to oneself, and ultimately giving oneself as a ransom for others even unto death.
RESPOND: The path that Jesus lays upon us is difficult. To enter the school of humility itself is already a great task. Perhaps it is worth noting my personal profile today and becoming aware of my own desires for power, authority and recognition and see whether its manifestations hamper my journey towards self-giving. A little mindfulness of how I behave when given power and authority will help a lot in my efforts to become like what Jesus wants me to be.
PRAY: Lord, break me and mend me back to the person that you want me to be today. Teach me Your way of humble service that I may cease to struggle trying to find a comfortable perch in the hierarchy of the world. May I be happy in my service and humble in my achievements. Amen.
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