Gospel Reflection: Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

TWENTY- FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

SEPTEMBER 20, 2015

Alleluia, Alleluia

God has called us through the Gospel

To possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Gospel of Saint Mark 9:30-37

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.  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 the 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.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

Today’s Gospel takes place on the way to, and inside a house in Capernaum.  Existing since the second century BC, Capernaum was a sizable community located at the northwestern portion of the Sea of Galilee.  Most likely, Capernaum was the home-base of Jesus during His public ministry.   It was also the home town of Peter, Andrew, James and John, who made their living fishing on the Galilee Sea.

Saint Mark continues Jesus’ instruction of the disciples that began last Sunday.  The topic is at the root of Jesus’ existence – the nature of His divine mission: 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.

The Gospel indicates that the disciples did not understand, but according to last week’s opposition expressed by Peter, it also appears that the disciples did not want to understand and therefore were afraid to question him.

In the midst of this incredible revelation by Jesus that He was to die for the salvation of the world, the disciples were more concerned about their own pecking order in terms of which of them was the greatest.  They were so centered on themselves that they were even arguing about their own importance.  How is it that even disciples become more concerned with their own importance than to true openness to the revelations and instructions of Jesus?   Why is it that disciples cannot see and hear in Jesus that He is the Servant of God who is willing to offer even His life to bring about the Father’s desire to save the world!   Truly, the Gospel reveals the deep seated struggle of every would-be disciple: to listen to and embrace the ways of Jesus over his/her own ambitions and desires.  To make sure there is no confusion, Jesus proclaims: If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.

Now the Gospel reveals the very heart of God.  Jesus embraces a little child with love and demonstrates in an incredible and tangible way the love that God has for every one of us who are His children – a divine hug!   The little-ones, the frail ones, the innocent ones, the most vulnerable ones of humanity are loved by God, and in turn we are to love and embrace them and be willing to sacrifice ourselves for them – that is what Jesus did and does!

It is no wonder that Saint Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower persisted in seeing herself as a little child surrendering herself into the arms of the Father.  It is in this Little Way of considering ourselves small that God can love us, and it is in this Little Way that we should never consider ourselves so big as to not love and sacrifice ourselves for the vulnerable little ones of the world.

 

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

 

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