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Greatness in being little.


Ordinary time, Sunday 25th year B, 19/09/2021 Mk 9, 30-37


An Indian Master said the most selfish one-letter word is the letter “I”. Everything revolves around “I”. I like, I dislike, I want…What is the “I” stand for? It stands for expectations: “I should be treated like this, I should be loved like this…I should be given these many marks…” We are grown up like this, we only learn to take. We are all leading a life of high expectations.

I want to tell you again this story. Some of you may already hear it. There is a young man who came to a wise man asking to become his disciples. The master told him “throw it away”. The young man thought that his master meant what he had in his hands. He did it. His Master repeated, “Throw it away”. This time he thought that it should be his bag. He did it. But the master repeated “Throw it away” The young man didn’t know what to do because he had nothing on him right now. The master said, “yourself, throw it away” (ego). So the first thing to do to become a disciple is to renounce itself.

Jesus, in today Gospel, announce the second time his passion, and he said it to prepare his followers. However, it just turns him into disappointment after hearing their discussion on the way about who was the greatest but not what he said. And he tells them whether anyone wants to be the first he must make himself last of all and servant of all. The way of disciples is not the same way of their Master.

In the second reading, St James says whether we find jealousy and ambition, disharmony and wicked things is because of our human desires. We want something and we haven’t got it. Our ambition cannot satisfy us. So we fight to get it.

We have seen these two readings. This selfish “I” put us to do everything to be in the first place, in the centre instead of God himself. It is full of ourselves. There is no more place for God. The only problem here is the “I selfish” who want to attract the people notice, the expectation of having compensation: the human glory said Pope Francis.

One of the beatitude is “ happy are the poor in spirit, theirs is Kingdom of heaven” Mt 5,3. It is not the selfish I but the poor in spirit who will seek the Kingdom of God because they empty themselves to make a place for God, a place for God’s grace. It is the same call from today Gospel to welcome the little children. The one who were considered as nobody. They have no rights, no power, no voice, and no value in society. Jesus wants to point out that greatness is not in being first, not in having more, and not in being important. In the example of a child, greatness is in humility, simplicity, and total dependence on God. In other words, the child is the clear reflection of Jesus. This is the way Jesus would go by obeying God’s will, taking the cross, by being rejected, humiliated, and dead as an innocent. That is the way he would like to show his disciples.

Jesus said in the last Sunday Gospel “ If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up the cross and follow me” . Pray, brothers and sisters that God help us to “empty ourselves” with humility, and fill us with His grace and his words.