Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 James 3:16-4:3 Mark 9:30-37
The readings today speak to us of doing good or evil in terms of making peace or causing conflict. In the Book of wisdom we read what the wicked will do to the just One, the Son of God. They will revile him, torture and kill him by a shameful death. We know that is exactly what happened to Jesus. Why? Could it have been jealousy and selfish ambition?
In the Letter of James, he picks up on these as the causes of disorder, conflict, war and all kinds of evil deeds. James continues by telling us that wisdom from above is pure, sincere and full of peace and gentleness. The fruits of righteousness and goodness bring peace. So let us beware of jealousy and envy in our hearts and selfish ambition in our lifestyles. They are the cause of much evil in this world: war, murder, violence, abuse, injustice, poverty, even misunderstanding, etc.
In the Gospel Jesus does forewarn the Apostles that he would be handed over to evil men, be tortured and killed , but he would also rise again. They understood nothing of what he said. They heard the sound of his voice but nothing penetrated to their minds or their hearts. So much so, that as they walked, they immediately began discussing who was the greatest among them. They wouldn’t tell Jesus what they were discussing, but he knew…. So he began telling them that in order to be really great, one had to be a servant of others. He lifted up a child saying that whoever received the young, the innocent and the vulnerable, that it was He they were receiving or not receiving. When Jesus lifts up a child he is also encouraging us to be childlike, which means being kind and trusting. So, do we get it?
To be great we must be servants, caring individuals with selfless ways. If so, we will bring peace to our families and co-workers and not conflict, discord and division. It is important to remember the Psalm verse today which says: “The Lord upholds my life.” The Lord our God has sustained us since we were infants. God put people on our path from the very beginning to sustain our life. As adults and as healthcare workers we need to be his instruments to uphold and sustain the young, the old, the sick and the vulnerable. Isn’t that what we try to do here in St. Mary’s Health System, at the hospital, at d’Youville, in our practices and clinics and at the food pantry? God will continue to sustain us as we work with diligence, kindness and compassion to sustain others, especially those most in need.
Sr. Suzanne Beaudoin, SSCh
Director of Pastoral Care