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Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

Ecclus. 2:1-11 & Mk. 9:30-37

Words of practical wisdom are offered by the First Reading's author today. They concern the problem of human suffering. No matter what comes our way we must be patient and endure heavy crosses. We are to be helped by studying the lives of those who have gone before us. They trusted in God and were not disappointed.

We are at a greater vantage point than his original readers. They had individuals like Noah, Abraham and Moses to admire - but each had his human failings. We have the best of all persons, Jesus Himself, to bring out the best in us.

In today’s Gospel He predicted His passion. We see how He trusted in His Father. No one was asked to suffer more, both mentally and physically, than Jesus. He accepted all this and His Father rewarded Him by raising Him from the dead.

So whenever we have to suffer, and find the going hard as we almost inevitably will, we need only to study Jesus in His passion. We will see how He put His full trust in His Father and was not disappointed - and neither shall we be.

In this Gospel passage the Apostles showed just how human they were! Ambition raised its ugly head. They thought Jesus was going to establish a kingdom and each wanted the top and best place. What a shock they had when Jesus told them that if they wanted that place they were to be the servant of everyone! He exemplified this by embracing a little child, who had no rights, and told them they were to be like this little child.

The values of Christianity are so different from those of the world. This was a lesson the disciples of Jesus had to learn.

Lord Jesus, help me to carry all my crosses in life just as You did, and may I be prepared to be one who serves others, because this is what you want of me. In this way I can be certain I shall always be close to You.

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