In today’s gospel, St. Mark, tells us, “They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, and 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." (Mark 9: 33 – 37)
This is one of my favorite scripture passages because the disciples were engaged in a very ordinary discussion and Jesus brings them right back to reality by using the analogy of a child. For a child is often perceived as the most innocent and beautiful of all of God’s creation. Jesus sets before all of us the challenge to become childlike and to always remember that we are called to share love and joy with all. Let us always remember that life is truly not about who is first or best it is about loving God and loving our neighbors. We are called to treat everyone with respect and compassion for this is what we are called to.
Pat Schifini, OSU