Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


September 19, 2021

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, Glen Mills, PA


Today’s Readings:

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20

Psalm 54:3-4, 5,6-8

Letter of Saint James 3:16-4:3

Mark 9:30-37


When Saint Bernard (1090-1153) was asked what the four cardinal virtues where he replied, “Humility, humility, humility and humility!”

In today’s Gospel narrative the disciples of Jesus, while on their way to Capernaum, discussed among themselves who of them is the greatest.  The disciples, at this point, were clueless about Jesus and His mission.  Even as He predicts, for the second time, that betrayal and death awaited Him in Jerusalem, they continued to dream of sharing His glory when He declares Himself as the Messiah in the Holy City.  Let’s imagine their conversation as to which is the greatest:

Peter: “Of course it is I!  Didn’t Jesus call me the “Rock” on which the community of His is to be built?”

John: “It is I because He loves me the most!”

Judas Iscariot: “It is I because I am the one who is entrusted with the money.  The world is ruled by money, and I am in control.”

Phillip: Do you remember when He had that catering problem?  He turned to me for advice and five-thousand hungry people were fed.”

I suspect that the other eight had similar reasons.

Because of this argument, Jesus assembled the Twelve and said, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”  This appears not to be very practical advice for someone wanting a “promotion.”  However, it is a reminder for us that we can be exalted with Christ in heaven only after following in His footsteps of carrying our individual cross with humility.

The disciples eventually understood our Lord’s teachings and embraced the Good News of the Gospel message.  During there many years of ministry they used the same words that Jesus spoke to them to teach, preach and heal others.  The Word spread throughout the known world, and it is still being spread today. 

In my eyes, other than Judas, they were all great.  Now it is our turn. 

Question of the Day:  Do you believe that being humble is a sign of strength and not weakness?

Prayer: “I am the Good Shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.”


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