Posted by: livingscripture | September 20, 2009

Twenty Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day


If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.

      (Mark 9, 36)

 How should we live this Word

 Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel go against the current.  The cross that Jesus invites us to take up (last Sunday’s Gospel) is not only suffering and death that sooner or later come to everyone.  Today He invites us to choose a life style of service and of total gift of self.  In a world in which we have been taught from our childhood to be the best and the first, to seek places of honor and prestige, Jesus’ word is a paradox!  Only fools and idiots can understand it!  Yet, Jesus’ words are very explicit, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”   What’s more, the master himself voluntarily becomes the servant of all!

bimba nera2

 This is revolutionary!  But it is a revolution that takes place inside a person; a change of heart.  It is renouncing the domination of others, using them for one’s own needs.  According to Jesus, one can only be first by serving, by giving oneself in gestures of love.  Jesus takes a child and places it in their midst.  The child is the symbol of minority, of second class, of weakness.  A child has nothing to give you and asks only to be loved and served by you.  ‘Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me”.  May it never happen that in our mania to be first, we reject Jesus in the poor who reach out to us, in the ill who await our smile, in the depressed who seek a friendly hand.  Let us be the servant of the servants and perhaps we will have the good fortune to meet the Servant Jesus!

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ask the Holy Spirit to illumine the dark corners of my conscience where thoughts and feelings of power, of vanity, of competitiveness nest. 

 Come Holy Spirit, purifier.  Each day grant me the awareness of my littleness and the joy of being able to put it at the service of Your heavenly kingdom.

 The voice of Divo Barsotti, witness

 The whole of one’s life is nothing other than throwing everything away, despoiling oneself of all and of self in order to be God’s prey in Christ.  Thus we would have no name, no family, no country, no profession or wealth or wisdom or goodness in the world…nothing any more.



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