Silence is not always golden. It can reveal our lack of understanding, if we do not entrust ourselves to God’s way.
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 23, 2018): WIS 2:12,17-20; PS 54: 3-4,5,6,8; JAS 3:16 – 4:3; MK 9:30-37
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In the Gospel for this Sunday, we quickly become aware that the Apostles do not understood some of the most important points of Jesus’ message.
Our Lord speaks about His coming passion and still they do not grasp – or perhaps do not want to grasp – that Jesus will be arrested and killed before rising again. In their fear, discomfort and ignorance, they respond with silence, unable to offer any pertinent comments or questions. Instead, the Twelve start an argument about which one of them is the best, the most important, the one closest to their Master. When Jesus asks them the subject of their dispute, they are silent once more; this time with embarrassment. “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’” (Mark 9:34-35).
The Apostles simply do not realize how little they know about Christ or about themselves. What are they to make of the idea that to truly be first in the eyes of God means putting oneself last? The real leader must be a servant. God’s way of thinking is at odds with the human viewpoint that urges us to push ourselves forward in the eyes of the world. Power, wealth, status, all these matter a great deal to many. But Jesus came to teach us the divine truth that we must attend to the needs of others, especially those most vulnerable, such as the little child that He hugs while speaking to them. The Twelve were very much like us. Every time we put our desires before the will of God, we demonstrate how much we still have to learn about the Kingdom of Heaven and the way our Lord wants us to live.