Gospel Reflection for 25th Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – September 20th 2015
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
After leaving the mountain Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.
They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’
Mark 9: 30-37
We’ve had a lot of war-history in the recent past – 1st world war, Gallipoli, 1916 – but James (second reading James 3:16 – 4:3) talks of another battlefield…. wars of good and evil within ourselves. Conflicting desires. In every war there is the evil fighting in the souls of the generals. Same with ourselves — good things emerge to be done and we allow other less good take over – visit someone sick but there is a match; help a neighbour but there’s a party; visit the parents and something else happens ….go to Mass and the sun comes out and we go to the beach. Desires to control people, greed, sexual exploitation of young and not so young, the internet …we know more from our own experience. Big time greed could have started with a fight over ice-cream at home, and somebody always getting their way at the expense of others.
Jesus’ love and saving love can help us bring out the best in ourselves. His cross is our peace – within ourselves and within nations. This is the reconciliation Jesus promises from the cross…peace within us and peace among us.
The apostles got into a row who is the best, the greatest. They want to follow Jesus but something else takes over. So Jesus said little but went to the children, and we see a peaceful scene.
He is contrasting the two ways of life – competitiveness and dependency; just when you are getting into the competitiveness, look at the best in children.
Can we bring into ourselves the best of the child and find God? – the Father whom we trust, being happy to rest in the regard he has for us, with no need to worry about who is the greatest!
Donal Neary SJ