A reading from the holy Gospel of Luke 9:46-50
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest." "Master," said John, "we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us." "Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you."
The Gospel of the Lord Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ
REFLECTION: "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest." (Gospel reading)
In the Reading from the Book of Job 1:6-22 " The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
In the Old Testament, there was a direct correlation between prosperity and being in God's favor, between leading a virtuous life and enjoying wealth. Most people who did not prosper or those , like Job, who lost their material and physical goods, were thought to be low life and not worthy of God's love as surely they had done something bad to have God angry with them. Job, however, reacts to his misfortune with submission to God's Divine Providence. He humbles himself to God's will and uses his misery for a wonderful spiritual treasure.
In the Gospel, the disciples argue among themselves as to who is the greatest. They truly thought that being with Jesus afforded them the right to ascend the ladder and be over people. Jesus, quite readily shuts down their ideas and brings a child before them. A child, in the time of Jesus, had no rights and was at the "bottom of the rund" and was at the service of their family. It was the lowest but the sweetest of his creatures that Jesus used to teach the disciples humility. Man's greatness lies not in his position nor in his wisdom, but in the innocence of a child.
The one who is lowly and humble of heart--as Job and the child--are empty of all and gather up all of God's favor. Jesus, in his Passion, will humble himself for our sins and will suffer an indescribable agony and cruelest suffering. The sufferings of Job will become part of the passion of Christ--it was as if Job foretold participating in the Redemption. He converted his pain into a fruitful suffering and would then combine his sufferings with those of Jesus. The disciples also needed to be willing to do the same, but they were not yet ready for the Passion of their Lord. They still thought in material ways. They were still full of personal ambition.
PRAYER: Dearest, Lord, please give us the gift of humility . Let us empty ourselves of everything--of pride, envy, vanity, possessions, so that we become empty vessels, receptive of your glory, love and power (2 Corinthians 4:7) Amen