Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Sirach 2:1-11; Mark 9:30-37)
Mother Teresa of Calcutta was fond of saying we may not be able to do great things but can do little things with great love. She meant that in the eyes of God the second is as good as the first and maybe even better. Jesus comes to a similar point in today’s gospel.
It is more than ironic -- really tragic -- that Jesus’ disciples argue like children about who is the greatest among them and miss his prediction about his impending death. Nevertheless, he does not give up on them but uses the moment to teach them a worthy lesson. Taking a child – in his day considered a person of little worth – into his arms, he instructs his disciples that if they wish to be great, then they must care for such an insignificant one. This kind of humble service is what matters most, not the number of stars on one’s coat.
With all the fanfare given to success, it is hard not to think about ourselves in competition with others. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit has descended upon each of us with a similar message to what Jesus heard at his baptism: “You are my beloved son…” Accepting this belief as truth, we will want to please our Father by humble service to His people.