Sunday, September 23, 2018
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” Mark 9:36-37
What is it about the image of a child that helps Jesus illustrate an important point? The answer to this question must be understood as a contrast between one who is like a child and one who holds a worldly view of greatness.
A child is one who is poor, dependent, humble and in need. A child cannot take care of his/her own needs. Rather, a child needs the care of parents. So it is with us in our relationship with God.
We are not considered great by being independent, powerful, well respected, successful, etc. This is a worldly view of greatness. The Apostles, in this passage, were arguing about who was the greatest. Jesus, in pointing to a child, shows that greatness is not about what you accomplish or the like; rather, greatness is found in becoming dependent upon Christ. Additionally, it is found in seeking out those who are in need (as a child is in need of care) and offering the love and care others need. It’s a call to compassion and concern for the poor and needy among us.
Reflect, today, upon whether you are ready and willing to reach out to those in need among you. Who are they? What is their need? Do you seek them out and offer love and support? Doing this is what will make you truly great in the eyes of God.
Lord, may I seek you in the poor, the brokenhearted, the sinner and all those in need. Please fill my heart with compassion and concern for others. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)