Many of the gospel texts are well known to us – we know the stories; we know the people and the facts.
We remember the parables and their message.
The words of Jesus, at least many of them, echo in our memories.
Yet, I wonder if, at times, some important detail does not escape our notice.
This question came to me after reading the text of this Sunday’s gospel (25th Sunday of Year B – Mk.9:31-37).
This scene shows us the apostles who need to be corrected and Jesus is intent on doing so –
He will correct their misguided attitude of competing with one another, showing off,
trying to be seen as more important than the other next to them.
A lesson on being the servant of one another is what they need, obviously.
Jesus will not fail to teach them this in his own typical manner.
He does so in a surprising way.
“If anyone wants to be first he must make himself last of all and servant of all.
He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him…”
Another translation says: “He embraced the child…”
This is the detail: the child is important to Jesus, he matters!
There are current social movements with precisely this title:
- ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’
- the corresponding counter current: ‘WHITE LIVES MATTER’.
- the #metoo = #MoiAussi movement
are all expressions of this deep need within us : we want to matter to other people,
we NEED to be important to other people.
And the good news is that we do matter, we are important to God!
He said it in so many words long ago by his prophet Isaiah:
“You are precious in my eyes… I love you.” (Is.43:4)
Perhaps we had forgotten…
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/25e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/
Source: Image: YouTube