Jesus and his disciples went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again." But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?" But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
Today is Tuesday, the 26 February, in the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time
The University of Johannesburg choir sing a setting of the Lord’s Prayer.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Mark.
When Jesus asks his disciples what they were arguing about on the way, they keep silent, somewhat embarrassed. They had been arguing with one another about who among them was the greatest. Yet Jesus perseveres in teaching and working with them. Growth in Christ, for all of us, is a constant theme in the New Testament. With God’s help what practical steps could I take to come to know Jesus better?
Failure to understand and embarrassment are distressing realities we experience from time to time. They can also be useful learning moments. In this passage they give Jesus the opportunity to emphasise that he will be a suffering Messiah and that true greatness among his followers will be found in humble service. Am I humble enough to accept that in the spiritual life, as with Jesus’ disciples, this may be the way forward?
As you hear the word of God again, try to imaging the scene as Jesus gently takes the little child into his arms. What does this scene say to you about Jesus and about yourself? How are you affected? What does it say to you about the Christian vocation?
Sometimes we can find ourselves dwelling on thoughts about who is the greatest; on idle and exaggerated thoughts about our own achievements or the recognition we deserve. What response do you give to Jesus?