After leaving that place, they made their way through Galilee; but Jesus did not want people to know where he was because he was teaching his disciples. And he told them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into hands of men. They will kill him, but three days after he has been killed, he will rise.” The disciples, however, did not understand these words and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they did not answer because they had been arguing about who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve and said to them, “If someone wants to be first, let him be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child, placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around him he said to them, “Whoever welcomes a child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not me but the One who sent me.”
READ: Jesus continued to teach His disciples what He would undergo as a Messiah. This left them confused and uncomprehending. Because of this, they preoccupied themselves with talk of greatness in contrast to the humble, suffering Messiah that Jesus would become. So Jesus had to teach them again about what true greatness means.
REFLECT: There are people who don’t want to understand especially if the truth is something that shakes their world. They would rather continue not knowing. Amidst this stubbornness, Jesus again patiently teaches His disciples on the true fate of the Messiah. But this time, by teaching them what true greatness means, that it is not all about position of power and authority but of humility and powerlessness, of meekness and gentleness as embodied by a child. Perhaps this is a gentler approach for the disciples to later on understand that saving others entails death to oneself, and ultimately giving oneself as a ransom for others even unto death.
RESPOND: The path that Jesus lays upon us is difficult. To enter the school of humility itself is already a great task. Perhaps it is worth noting my personal profile today and becoming aware of my own desires for power, authority and recognition and see whether its manifestations hamper my journey towards self-giving. A little mindfulness of how I behave when given power and authority will help a lot in my efforts to become like what Jesus wants me to be.
PRAY: Lord, break me and mend me back to the person that you want me to be today. Teach me Your way of humble service that I may cease to struggle trying to find a comfortable perch in the hierarchy of the world. May I be happy in my service and humble in my achievements. Amen.
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