Prayer – Lord Jesus, give me a humble and accepting heart.
Imagination: (Imagine Jesus reprimanding his disciples.)
These two stories reveal two sins of disciples – ambition and exclusivity. Ambition seeks prominence within the community. Exclusivity excludes those outside the community. Jesus quickly corrects both.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
The disciple discussed among themselves who was the greater. Jesus, seeing their thoughts, placed a child by himself and said, “Whoever shall receive this child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, receives him who sent me. Whoever is least among you is the greatest.
John said, “Master, we saw a man casting out devils in your name and we tried to stop him because he is not of our company. Jesus told him in reply, “Do not stop him. Whoever is not against you, is on your side.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The apostles have much to learn. They have not yet witnessed Jesus lowering himself and accepting death on the cross.
- By placing a helpless child in their midst, Jesus demands service instead of ambition.
- The reward for Christian service is great. Receiving the helpless is to receive Jesus and the Kingdom.
- John manifests human selfishness. He wants to exclude others and not allow them to use the powers of the Kingdom.
- Jesus’ heart is much more open. Everyone is to be accepted unless they line up against you.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, destroy my ambitious spirit that serves only me.
- Give me a new heart, open to all.
- Give me your Holy Spirit of service that cares for the helpless.
- Where can I find you, Jesus? In all who need my help.
- Take down my walls. Remove my prejudices. Give me a heart open to all.
- In your name, I will embrace the whole world and invite them into the Christian community.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will not tolerate my own pride.
- I will welcome everyone and tear down my walls of exclusivity.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Whoever is least among you is the greatest.