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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Greatest?

Today's Gospel reading, from Mark, chapter 9, verses 30-37:

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.
For 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."


Do you think they were saying "I'm the greatest!" or were they telling each other "You're the greatest?" Would trying to set someone else up as greatest be selfless and okay, or was this an apostolic smoke-filled room, a few saying that they were the greatest and others agreeing and grouping with them? Egotist or sycophant, take your pick.

I'm relieved when I see the pre-Pentecost Apostles behaving like a bunch of maroons.

3 comments:

Julie D. said...

One of our deacons calls the disciples the "duh-sciples" ... this is another of those moments.

It never would have occurred to me that they'd be complimenting each other ... which says something about me I guess.

Rosalind said...

Julie, it had never occurred to me either. (Given the verses that come before, I can't help wondering whether they would be jockeying for position away from the disaster their Lord had just predicted.)

Isn't it nice that, although "they were afraid to question him," Jesus took the first opportunity to kindly open up his mind and heart to them.

Therese Z said...

and I always wondered about that "afraid to question Him" part. Hearing it at Mass, I suddenly got an image of being afraid to ask because they didn't want to look stupid.

The sin of pride, not being afraid of Him?

 

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