Dear Parishioners & Visitors,
September 23, 2018
But they kept quiet because on the way
they had argued about who was the greatest. - Mark 9:34
In today's Gospel reading, Jesus has to have a discussion with his disciples about humility. When Jesus confronted them about their argument, they were ashamed. Sitting down, Jesus tells them this: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the last, and the servant of all”
- Mark 9:35 Oh, how often we think we are better than everyone else, even though we are not! The easiest way to avoid such an ego is simply to follow this message: Be the servant of all. We must not be preoccupied with who is the best or greatest. Rather, we should think about ways to serve our neighbor, and about how the power Christ is working within and through us. In last Sunday's gospel, we hear how Jesus summoned his disciples and said to them, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.11- Mark 8:27-35
The path that Jesus was inviting his disciples to share meant total love and self-giving. This kind of racial commitment that Jesus calls us to adopt for the sake of the gospel. Following Christ on the path of self-giving will not bring us worldly success, affirmation or accolades, but give true and complete witness to God's indiscriminate love and mercy to the homeless, immigrants, marginalized, poor, and to those who might not look like us. As a faithful disciple we are to be as concerned for others as we are with their relationship with God. Jesus reminds us in today's gospel that greatness is to be found in loving service of the weaker members of the community. Being a disciple is not the easy option. True discipleship is demanding, it requires our promised commitment to God's mission through self-giving and sacrifice.
Somebody once told Saint Ignatius that Francis Xavier was a very ambitious young man. Ignatius replied, 'He is not ambitious enough'. His later ambitions were gospel ambitions. Lord, we pray today that you may renew our desire to be like and for Jesus in the world.
-fr. Peter Damian Harris, O.P.