The Extra Mile (Mk 9:30-37)
Jesus, teach me to be a little one, living in the simplicity of a child.
Picture Jesus, with his arms around a child, teaching his disciples.
The disciples have just failed to drive out a demon. Now, they do not understand Jesus’ teaching about suffering. Worst of all, they argue about who is the most important. They neither think nor act as disciples.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus and his disciples began a journey through Galilee, but he did not want anyone to know about it. Jesus taught his disciples, “The Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men and they will kill him. After his death, he will rise on the third day. They, however, did not understand and were afraid to ask him.
When they entered the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” They fell silent because they were disputing about who was the most important. Sitting down, Jesus taught the Twelve, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he put him in their midst. Placing his arm around him, Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes such a child for my sake, shall welcome me, and not just me, but him who sent me.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Jesus is now “on his way” to Jerusalem. The disciples should be “on the way” to understanding. However, they are going backwards.
- For the first time, Jesus predicts three important facts. He will be betrayed, killed and rise from the dead.
- The disciples do not understand and are afraid to ask.
- Instead of learning these mysteries about Jesus, they concentrate on their own importance.
- When confronted, they have no answer. They have violated Jesus’ basic teaching of serving others.
- Jesus reiterates this teaching. They should serve the new believers who need so much help. This is the task of the disciple.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Lord, I will walk with you. I will take your road and go your way.
- O Jesus, I know what is ahead – hardship and suffering. To follow you is worth any cost.
- Enlighten me, Jesus. Teach me your mysteries and your ways.
- Take my eyes off of myself. Take my heart away from my selfish interests.
- I will serve, Jesus. I will serve your people. Give me a task. What a privilege!
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will make sacrifices today to serve others.
+ I will ask for light to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
If anyone wishes to be first, he must be the servant of all.