MK 9: 30-37




People gathered in front of the mayor’s office to receive government aid. The strong ones were jostling and pushing and grabbing just to make it to the front of the line. As a result, the elderly, children and sick people had no choice but to be at the back of the queue. When the mayor’s assistant came, she shouted: Distribution is about to start. We will begin with the people here at the back!


In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ disciples were arguing who among them was the greatest, the first, the closest to the heart of the Master. But Jesus admonished them: “If anyone wishes to be first,

he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Everybody wants to be first, the Lord surely knows that. Why did the Lord give this counsel to his men?


I think the Lord is challenging his disciples and us to adopt two things: an attitude and an action.


Jesus offers the attitude of humility, not the false kind but the genuine one. Humility does not impede desire for greatness or perfection, but together with these, it teaches us to embrace patience, respect for order, and respect for others. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, of thinking big, but to do that in a hurry is unrealistic. Easy money vanished fast; fast road to fame leads to disaster; inherited power corrupts. If we aspire to be number one and we don’t get it, that’s is the recipe for sadness, frustration, and depression.


Jesus also challenges us to the action of perseverance. Sure, he preached about a Kingdom and isn’t a kingdom big, grand, immense? But the road to his kingdom is described as a mustard seed, as seeds left in the ground to sprout naturally and without interference (Mt.13). The seed grows in the midst of exposure to harsh weather, competition with other plants, and the danger of being eaten by birds. When it grows, the victory is sweet, because it hard earned!


Do you rush to get to the top? Do you push yourself too hard? Do you want the easy way out of things? Remember the Lord Jesus’ recipe for success: humility and patience. St Francis de Sales also said: Make haste, slowly..