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Tuesday 7th Week of the Year

Today’s Readings

Tuesday 7th Week of the Year

Mark 9:30-37

A humbling love for the sake of another is true greatness in God’s eyes.

In today’s gospel, Jesus gave us two examples
of true greatness in the eyes of God.

One was with words and one was with his behavior
towards his disciples.

He spoke to his disciples about his upcoming suffering
and passion ending on the cross.
Let’s consider that for a moment.

Jesus is teaching us what true greatness is
in the eyes of God.

He stoops to the lowest place
that was needed to save us.

The prospect of him dying froze their hearts.

Anyone looking at Jesus on the cross
could easily say and correctly say
what St. Paul stated in 2 Corinthians chapter 5,

“For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”

The greatness of God’s love for us
drove Jesus with such a passion
to become one with us
in our sinfulness.
And with the same passion
he suffered so much to save us
from ourselves and our self-importance.

How difficult it is for us to humble ourselves?

A humbling love for the good of another
is true greatness in God’s eyes.
And briefly, Jesus showed us in his behavior
another sign of his humbling love for us.

Any of us could easily say it was very inconsiderate
of his disciples to not ask Jesus any questions
or show him any concern
when he prophesied his passion and death.
Does Jesus feel sorry for himself or become angry? No.

He puts his own human feelings aside.

Then he simply asks them what they are arguing about
as they walked to Capernaum.

They were silent. Most likely, they were ashamed.
With so much gentleness,
in response to their argument about who was first,
he just called a child over to him
to teach them what being first is all about.

For a child in that society had no rights whatsoever.

A child was on equal footing with a slave.

“Whoever receives a child such as this in my name, receives me.”
In other words, treat each other with great honor,
no matter what their position may be in society
or how others see them.

Seeing these examples of Jesus,
help us to understand that
true greatness is putting others before oneselves,
even when they neglect us
in our most vulnerable moments.

St. Faustina in her Diary wrote, “I will be like a tiny violet hidden in the grass, which does not hurt the foot that treads on it, but diffuses its fragrance and, forgetting itself completely, tries to please the person who has crushed it underfoot. This is very difficult for human nature, but God’s grace comes to one’s aid.” (255)

Rick Pilger

Father Pilger, I.C. was born in Canton, Illinois and was ordained at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, England in December 1978. He joined the Blessed Sacrament Parish in August 1995, coming here from Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton Florida. After 22 years as Parochial Vicar, he was appointed Pastor by Bishop Gregory Parkes in June 20, 2017.

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