Jesus in the Gospel is inviting us to avoid aspiring to be great but to acquire the virtue of
humility. The disciples were discussing who was the greatest among them. I remember when I was a kid, my friends and I were also boasting about so many things. In many occasions, we boasted how one’s toy was more expensive than the other, or that one’s grandfather is braver than the other. I know that this experience has also been the experience of many when they were young. But this is a childish attitude and it is understandable for kids who have not reached the level of maturity as with the adults.
Jesus took the child as an example of humility. We are invited to be child-like and not to be childish. The latter is more self-centered while the former speaks of someone who possesses an innocent behaviour. An innocent person is not mindful of prestige, honor, or any material gains. He accepts whatever is given and is contented with it. This is very far from the attitude of many adults and from my very own attitude. I always feel good whenever I am recognized. I like the idea of being treated first. I feel glad whenever I get the best part of everything. These are all childish attitudes. I know our God is not happy with this kind of attitude.
The invitation of Jesus in our Gospel today is for us to transcend from being childish to
being child-like. A person who is child-like ceases to think of himself. He is contented and there is no way that he would think of himself as superior over others. Instead, he delights in being humble as exemplified by Christ to His disciples.
By Sem. Ryan Digan
THE GOSPEL TODAY
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
For they had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
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.”