September 23, 2012: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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. 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 the 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 9:30-37)
The more we read about the early disciples, the more we see how little they really knew about Jesus. And why should they? They were learning about Jesus “from scratch.” There was no New Testament then, no way for them to know what the Savior would look like, how he would dress, what he would say. They were attracted to Jesus because of the goodness that flowed out of him. And Jesus tried to help them understand what it would mean to be one of his followers: he told them to look at a little child just as it is and see in that child an image of the openness and goodness of God.
For some minutes imagine one of your younger brothers or sisters is there with you–or, if you have no younger siblings–imagine a little child looking up at you with big eyes and a smile that says this child loves you and would like to play with you. Would you turn away and not play with this child? Would you go back to your older friends and leave this little child? Think about whether there are times when you have turned away from Jesus when he is asking you to pray with him, or do a good deed in his name. Talk with Jesus about your relationship with him. Ask him to help you always to know who he is and to follow him..