Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

(Deuteronomy 31:1-8; Matthew 18:1-5.10.12-14)

University students are especially preoccupied that their sports teams are considered the best; that is, rated number one.  They will chant incessantly as their teams compile an undefeated record, “We’re number one!”  The concern may be truly called sophomoric in light of today’s gospel.

The disciples come to Jesus with the question, “Who is first in the Kingdom of God?”  Pointedly Jesus ignores the concern to give a lesson on service.  He tells them that they must humble themselves like a child so that they may respond to the needs of others.

It is hard to give up our sense of self-importance.  We want to be appreciated for what we do.  But Jesus is reminding us again that we do not earn heaven on our own.  It comes as grace from God to which we respond with the eagerness of children trying to please their parents.