Sunday Gospel Reflection
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 9:30-37 | Sept. 19, 2021
Who is the Greatest?
The gospel today tells of the implications of following Jesus. By revealing His Passion, Jesus foreshadowed the suffering his disciples would have to endure in the days to come. Yet, they did not truly understand the underlying meaning of His message. Instead, they argued among themselves who was the greatest. This may have resulted from their own assumptions that following Christ leads to a life of pleasure and prestige.
This compelled Jesus to clarify what it means to serve the Lord. “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” He calls on His disciples to be servants to all. This was established through the example of caring for a child, representing the least and most vulnerable. Through this act we are called to be of service to the Lord.
Through this gospel we are reminded of our mission as disciples of Christ. We are dissuaded in chasing after earthly desires and pleasures. Instead, we are encouraged to shift our focus towards our fellowmen and be of service to our brothers and sisters who are in need.
The desire to serve is especially relevant in these times of crisis when many have lost their jobs and have been struggling to earn for their daily living. We may be tempted to prioritize and secure the needs of our own families, but our gospel today urges us to also reach out to the poor, the sick, and the needy.
Service does not necessarily involve monetary donation. Through our own occupations, we can be of service to those who are in need. I salute the doctors, nurses, and other medical frontliners who unceasingly attend to COVID positive patients despite the risk of bringing the virus to their households. I also admire the teachers, drivers, and all other workers who strive to provide the essential services to their fellowmen despite the risk of exposure.
Our service does not need to be big. It could be through a simple gesture of reaching out to a friend who is experiencing stress or anxiety. Or our choice to stay at home to prevent the spread of the disease. Let us make others feel the bayanihan spirit in our actions, may it be big or small. When we choose to serve in spite of our individual concerns and necessities, we become servants of God.
Artwork: In His Light by Greg K. Olsen