Today’s readings can be quite unpleasant. Envious instigator plot against the prophets and the future messiah, Jesus. James explains that greed and envy are at the root of conflict between people. Jesus again warns disciples that soon he will be handed over to people intending on killing him.
The enemies in the first reading attack the just one out of jealousy. They say they want to prove that God will take care of him. But they really don’t believe that in the first place, they just want to torture and kill Him. The disciples in the Gospel selfishly argue among themselves about which one was the greatest. In this way, they’ve betrayed their own ambition and jealousy. Children, like the one Jesus embraced, are totally dependent on grownups. Adults, provide them food, clothing, shelter, security, guidance and love. In Jesus’ time, children, like servants, had no legal rights or social status. Jesus promises that whoever receives one child receives Him and the One who sent him.
Children can also teach the disciples and us what it was like to feel free to reveal one’s own ignorance. The disciples did not understand Jesus’ prediction, but were afraid to let him know, so they remained in the dark. Just as children do not fear losing legal rights or social status they do not have, they do not fear losing their reputation. If you want to be first, you must be the last of all and the servant of all.
Again, we can learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Learn to place the needs of others above our own. Learn what it means to be humble of heart.
Love, Peace, Joy