In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus asking His disciples what they were quarreling about as they traveled to Capernaum. During the journey, Jesus told them of the things which were to happen to Him soon. However, his followers were not listening to him because they were so engrossed debating who among them was the greatest.
Authority and prominence are what often come to mind when we think about greatness, and these are what some people desire and strive for! I cannot help but think of those political candidates who run for office just to gain power, influence, and fame. Certainly, we desire what we think is good for us. Fame feeds our desire to be wanted, and having authority feeds our need to be in control and have power over others. This idea of greatness is dangerous, especially when it is sought for the sake of itself. Obsession for prestige, honor, or appreciation could get us into trouble. We might have a wrong notion of ourselves, become self-centered, and believe that people will only approve of us and accept us if we have fame and power.
The Gospel for today invites us to follow Jesus’ example of humility. We need to ‘forget’ ourselves and get rid of the arrogance in our hearts which always yearns to occupy the center seat. We will find it hard to live in humility and simplicity if our only preoccupation is getting power and fame. These virtues, which are very essential to a life dedicated to service, also help us be closer to others and thus will aid us in bringing them to Jesus.
In the Gospel, the disciples were absorbed discussing among themselves on who was the greatest, instead of listening to what Jesus actually said. What am I so absorbed at that I fail to listen? The Gospel is a reminder for us to focus on Jesus and not be distracted by any other lesser things.
By: Sem. Lester John D. Cabais
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”