Daily Reflection – 2/21/2023
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him. They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent. 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.” Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the one who sent me.”(Mark 9:30-37)
Jesus elevated a little child in a privileged position of honor. He did this to show his disciples who really is the greatest in His kingdom. Children, in that time, had no rights, position or privileges of their own. Socially, they were at the “bottom of the rung” and at the service of their parents, much like domestic servants.
A child. Small but full of tenderness. Always inquisitive and eager to do those things that please their parents. A child learning that individual will is healthy, but it should also be in concert with the will of those they love. A child who lives for the beauty of the moment but eagerly awaits the next day/
Sounds like us. Oh, it doesn’t? Perhaps we too need to take a life’s lesson from that child.
No matter how small or large we are, we are His children. And he loves us with all the love and tenderness that a parent has. He does. The love that flows between us and him is monumental. When you are joyous, exalt and give praise for that. When you are stressed, sad or feeling alone, know that He is there, eager to walk by your side and give you strength, comfort and love.
Our Father wants each of us to live full lives. He has given us the intellectual capacity to do that. Individual will is part of that and is his gift. That gift also means that we have the choice to do both that which is pleasing to Him or that which is not. To assure we know the difference, he gave us the Holy Spirit residing within us. The Holy Spirit who nudges our conscience to show us the way.
That leads us to the gift He treasures so much. Recognition that ultimately, we must become like the child. Giving ourselves to Him so that each of us can become His light to others.
That means letting go. That means looking for ways to be His light to others.
As we let go of anything that gets in the way of reaching out to others, we find our own wants and needs change. Gradually our priorities shift from things and possessions, to giving more to the relationships that are the most important and satisfying for us. Gradually we learn that the ultimate good in life is the grateful smile, the relieved suffering, the lifting up of the supposed least among us. Gradually we learn that dying to self brings new life.
There is a peace in being a servant. The peace comes from a quiet, still voice that says: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Today, you helped carry my cross.”
Would that we all would hear that voice.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, help me to die to myself. Let my life become a prayer. Allow your love to rise in my life so that all I do honors you.
Jesus’ love and saving love can help us bring out the best in ourselves. His cross is our peace – within ourselves and within nations. This is the reconciliation Jesus promises from the cross…peace within us and peace among us.