The Way To be the Greatest. Tuesday 19th Week Ordinary Time
The Way To be the Greatest
When we look at the world today we see this incessant quest to acquire, to rule, to be the head, to appear the most important and to be worshipped. Many want to be at the head not that they truly know the essence of governance but they do not want to lose their position and political importance.
We are more concerned about earthly honour to the extent we forget that true greatness is not of the world. Our concern is seeking the way to be the greatest but we do this thinking it can be achieved by the incessant quest to be the one to be worshipped. God’s way of greatness is different from ours. The way to be the greatest is not actually what we think.
The Disciples’ Question
Today, the disciples of Jesus came to Him to know who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. In essence, they are seeking for the way to be the greatest among all.
Here, one questions what would have led to this question. Something must have caused them to ask this question.
To find the reason, we go to the account of Luke and Mark of the same episode.
Luke 9:46 stated that , “An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest.” Mark 9:33 indicates when this argument had taken place. “They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, Jesus began to question them, ‘What were you discussing on the way.’’ But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest.” ( Mark 9:34).
This shows that there was already an argument on who is the greatest among them.
Then In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus had earlier told them that He would die, they felt grieved but it didn’t last for minutes and they began to debate who among them is the greatest. Therefore, instead of meditating on what Jesus said, they were interested on who is to rule. They seek the way to be the greatest instead of seeking the a way to be with their master in the time of suffering.
The true reason for this debate is that the apostles had an earthly mentality of what the kingdom of God is. Their interest today then becomes who will be the greatest in this so kingdom. And they were dragging who will rule, who is to worshipped….etc. They are seeking the way to be the greatest like we do
1. Just like the disciples, we have also lost sight that there is the eternal life to the extent that we are more concerned about this world than the world after.
Today, why there are problems in the country, organisations, families etc is the incessant quest to be the most respected, worshipped and important. To acquire these, some people can go to any extent whether good or diabolic.
This is one of the reasons many families today are in total enmity because one person or group of persons want to be solely on top.
This is the reason many people betray and blackmail their friends.
It is also the reason we have people who are envious and jealous.
This has continued to breed envy, jealousy and hatred among brothers and members of the same family of God.
We seek the way to be the greatest among all. Because of this, we fight, quarrel and hate ourselves for no reason.
Let Us Be like A Child
Jesus’ response to the disciples truly must not be what they want to hear. Jesus tells them ” unless you change and become like little children, you can never enter the kingdom of heaven..”
The first point in this statement is that they must change. Their mentality must change to become lowly like little children. The point is not how much we seek to appear the best and most important but how humble we are before God. It is not how much we want to be worshipped but how much we want to serve. Humility and service are the keys to greatness.
About The Child
To be the greatest we have to be like a child. The qualities of a child are…
1. He is not prejudiced. Today we have been affected by many theories and ideas which tends to affect our spirituality. To be a citizen of the kingdom we have to accept God as He is, without prejudice.
2. A child is full of innocence. He is not defeated by guilt. When He feels He has erred, He begs and cries for forgiveness.
Sometimes the fear of punishment from the parents may withhold him from doing some certain things. But sometimes when we sin, we even take glory in it. It is not surprising that many people today cannot remember when they went for confession last. The fear of God has gone. To be the greatest let us also learn to approach the mercy seat of God.
3.There are times we think God has abandoned us because of what we did when in the actual fact, He is waiting for us to repent and come back to Him as also was depicted in the gospel, in the analogy of the Shepherd. Jesus has conquered sin. To be the citizen of the kingdom, we have to free our hearts from guilts and sin.
4. When A child rests in Her Mother’s Arms, he or she is full of confidence that you can not do anything to Him. But we are easily afraid even when God is there for us. Like a child rests in His mother’s arms, we also have to rest in the protective Hand of God says St. Theresa of the Child Jesus.
5. The Child is full of unquestionable faith. He totally depends on the parents, and accepts easily whatever He is told. But today we no longer trust even the Word of God. Many people have taken it as words that no longer apply in our times forgetting that the Word of God is eternal. To be the greatest we have to develop deep and total faith in God.
6. The Child does not bear grudges and does not worry about the future. He knows there must be a provision for tomorrow. To be the greatest we have to develop deep trust in God’s provision and free our hearts from worry.
7. Unlike the child, many people today are full of grudges for one another, storing up the pasts and sometimes this comes back to hurt us and affect our health. Nothing releases the heart more than peace of mind.
8. There are many qualities of the Child. But to remain a child before God means to recognise our nothingness, totally depend on God and believing that God will never disappoint. It is believing that all that God promises will come to pass just like a child totally believes us if we promise him or her anything.
Jesus brings up the analogy of the Shepherd to emphasize how loving and caring God is. He is fully interested in the sinner and the lost. He is in search of the sinner and wants the sinner to repent and come back to Him. He loves us and wants us to be continually close to Him both here and live with Him after our earthly existence.
The implication here is that we choose to be lost and not God. God wants us to stay but sometimes we wander away. If we want to be the greatest we have to come close to God and assume His ever abiding presence in whatever we do. The way to be the greatest is to serve and be a child in God’s presence.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to humble ourselves and come close to Him. Amen