Jesus rebukes the disciples and reveals that selfless service is true greatness. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Humility so he can more perfectly imitate Jesus and by growing in the Virtue of Defense so he can protect all children and battle against the evil of abortion.
7th Week in Ordinary Time – Tuesday – Mk 9:30-37
Despite the numerous miracles (healing of the multitudes, walking on water, The Feeding of the 5000 and The 4000, the Transfiguration) and explicitly revealing His identity as the Messiah and details of His coming Passion (Mk 8:31-33), the Apostles remain confused about Jesus and themselves. After the Apostles lacked the faith to heal the demon-possessed mute boy (Mk 9:14-29), Jesus offers a stinging rebuke, saying, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?”
Jesus speaks again of His coming Passion: “the Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men…” The “Son of Man” was a mysterious phrase, but not unknown to Jews, appearing over 100 times in the Old Testament and was associated with the Messiah. Still, the disciples are confused, perhaps because the Messiah was expected to be a political king who would take power, rather than be murdered. Intimidated by the topic and Jesus’ recent fiery rebuke, the disciples are afraid and conceal their confusion.
Insecure and still far from their future saintly holiness, the disciples childishly argue among themselves about which of them is the greatest. Nothing is hidden from Jesus’ watchful gaze and when they arrive in Capernaum, He asks about their discussion; they are too ashamed and afraid to respond. To rebuke their prideful desires and teach them about true greatness, Jesus calls the Apostles and reveals that they must be “servants to all.” To drive the point home, He cradles a young boy in His arms and commands that they must “receive one such child” in His name if they are to receive Him and God the Father.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at how Jesus, after explicitly revealing to the Apostles that He is going to be killed, mysteriously knows of their private prideful arguments about “who is the greatest”, and responds, not with just anger, but with patient Meekness (a part of Temperance), mercifully teaching them to imitate His own Divine Humility (also a part of Temperance).
Reject pride and grow in humility
Realize: In contrast to the modern culture that celebrates pride, overemphasizes self-esteem, and values self-promotion and celebrity, Jesus confirms that deep humility is a requirement for Heaven; every Catholic man is called to turn away from the deadly sin of pride and embrace humility.
Believe: Reflect upon the Sin of Pride (CCC 1866) and the need to approach Jesus with a Humble Poverty of Heart (CCC 2544-2547, 2559).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Humility, help me build the Virtue of Humility (a part of Temperance) so I can cast off pride, recognize my great need for salvation, and continually seek to humbly enthrone You as King in my heart, allowing You to work through me; inspire my humility by allowing me to receive Your Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Protect all children and battle against the evil of abortion
Realize: In stark opposition to the murder of millions of children due to abortion, and the neglect of millions of children due to the absence of fathers in their lives, Jesus calls men to the heroic protection of children.
Believe: Reflect upon The 5th Commandment/Abortion (CCC 2270-2275) and the Duties of Parents (CCC 2221-2231).
Pray: Jesus, Protector of Children, help me build the Virtue of Defense and Protection (a part of Justice) so I can become a better father who protects the innocence of my own children, a spiritual father who always seeks to defend all children, and a heroic man who fiercely fights to protect unborn children.