St Peter Damian, bishop & doctor
7th Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Tuesday 21st February 2023
Sir. 2:1-11; Ps. 36:3-4,18-19,27-28,39-40;
Mk. 9:30-37 (Ps. Wk. III)
Mark, in today’s Gospel begins with Jesus’ announcement of His Paschal Mystery to His disciples for the second time. Confronted with this ‘bad news’, the disciples did what we will all do to ignore the whole idea of suffering and crucifixion by distracting themselves in a discussion of who among them is the greatest. The narrative ends with Jesus taking a child as the model for discipleship, imparting a crucial teaching on who is greatest in God’s sight.
As friends and disciples of Christ, what does it mean for you and me to be ‘great’ in today’s world? Do we give in easily to the temptation of desiring worldly greatness measured by success, wealth, status, power and influence?
We see a child as a symbol of vulnerability, simplicity and total dependency. A child in Jesus’ time has no economic value or rights. Jesus takes a child to teach us what it looks like to welcome the lowly and the weak in our society. Greatness is then welcoming and serving the least of these in our midst (Mt. 25:40): the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. This kind of greatness happens in the simple, ordinary, and mundane everyday life that often goes unnoticed and unnamed.
The book of Sirach and the Psalm encourages us to commit our lives to the Lord with hope and trust that all things will be well for those who love the Lord.
Lord, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!