Wednesday 9 September 2015 — Latest update Sunday 20 September 2015

25th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year ’B’ 25e dimanche du Temps Ordinaire, année ’B’

“Anyone who welcomes a little child such as this in my name, welcomes me ; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Sg.2, 12. 17-20 Ps. 53 Jq. 3, 16-4, 3 Mk.9, 30-37

25th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year ’B’

“After leaving that place Jesus went through Galilee with his disciples, and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them :” The Son of man will be delivered into the power of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But the disciples di not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.“Jesus is travelling through Galilee, making himself as discreet as possible , and he instructs his disciples about God’s plans for him. After this second announcement of the Passion, his disciples are afraid to question him, as though this revelation of the nearby passion was secret impossible for them to bear ; as though a shadow had already been cast upon their daily life with Jesus, a shadow of failure. The only way we can welcome people throughout our life is by taking on an attitude of humility : humble service and humble activity. To begin with, the Gospel gives us Jesus’ birth, the start of his human life linked to his mother Mary! Jesus is going to end his life of pilgrimage on earth with us in a great dependence on his Heavenly Father, instructing his Apostles : ’The Son of Man is going to be delivered up to men.’ Jesus gives his disciples the attitude they are to adopt, that of a small child who remains before all else in an attitude of loving dependence : ’Remain in my Love.’ A little child remains before all else in the love of his parents, he is going to develop thanks to this love. And so the word evokes this love which is given at the beginning and at the end of life. if we remain in this love, Jesus will be able to tell us the secrets of his message.”They came to Capernaum, and when he got into the house he asked them, ’What were you arguing about on the road? They said nothing, because on the roads they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ’If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.“The disciples become quiet. They were embarassed,for they had turned their back on the Master’s passion. As if they wanted to forget the way of suffering, they had had grandiose plans, and had begun to compare themselves with one another. Jesus responds by showing what true greatness is, according to the Gospel, that is, to become the last of all, getting into a position of service towards one’s sisters and brothers. We are part of the childbirth given to a whole new humanity, and Jesus frees us : ’The woman in childbirth is in pain.” Following Jesus, the Church brings to birth a new world, also in pain. The Apostles are there in front of a new attitude : one where we learn from a small child. Now the disciples were trying to see who was the greatest amongst them! We too seek to be first in order to be independent. Now, it is an error to want to depend on no one at all, it is to become slave to one’s passions and ambition. For Jesus, the dependence on his Father is the place of his fecundity. He is going to give Life to all.

“Jesus then took a little child whom he set among them and embraced, and he said to them, ’Anyone who welcomes a little child such as this I my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

When we are no longer concerned about being great, we can open ourselves up to the person who is the littlest. when we welcome a brother in Jesus, we make a place for Him in our lives, in referring ourselves to Jesus and his person, and his work, to what Jesus is for this brother or sister and what He does for Him. For Jesus’ way of thinking, a child is a living parable : we welcome a child without even thinking about whether he deserves it or not, or before he can even begin to deserve it, simply because he needs to be welcomed. Such is the welcome Jesus really asks of us for the smallest one amongst us, for the most insignificant person, apparently the one with the least value amongst all the brothers He sends to us. ’Whoever welcomes me’, says Jesus’ is not welcoming me but the One who sent me.’ There is a change of the fundamental direction of humanity , for Jesus is saying that the Son of man is going to be delivered and killed! He chooses to save us by this path of littleness. Jesus will be sad, sad unto death, going as far to cry out : ’My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me?’ Yet he will remain trusting his Father. This Word opens up for us a royal path. To dwell in this mystery of love can only be revealed through a total poverty and through the greatest possible disowning of one’s self. It is the Mystery of the Infinite Love of the Father and of the Son, the Love who is the Holy Spirit, who gives a face and meaning to everything, in whom we find God.

We ask for the grace to dwell in love, the gift of God and to learn from the littlest and the poorest ones.