Gospel Meditation

September 19, 2021
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

There is something about being first. Whether it be first in line, first to be picked for the team, or the first one to finish their work, great satisfaction is achieved. Our egos love being first. It somehow sets us apart from everyone else, gives us a sense of pride and positions us to feel better than others. When we are first, we can glory in our efforts, skills, and achievements. Isn’t that what really matters? After all, we are taught from a very young age to be proficient, stay on top, be the best at what we do, and win the praise and esteem of others. This is the stuff that makes us successful and provides us with a comfortable, satisfying life.

Jesus wants none of it. All of the details we anguish over mean little to the kingdom of God. You want to be first? Then, be a servant and welcome a child. All of this is the opposite of our often vehement pursuits. If we are serious about following Jesus and living the Gospel, then we must put the needs of others before our own. If we continue to listen only to the noise of the world, we are going to continue to believe the illusions we inherit. Those illusions come in many forms, but all have things in common: me before you, being on top and not the bottom, us versus them, personal security over universal harmony and peace. When are we going to learn that always striving to be the best and first is an empty pursuit in our struggle for happiness? While satisfying our ego with this momentary boost of esteem may feel good for a moment, is it what we really desire?

If we can break from the world’s noise and create a space of sacred silence in our lives, we can begin to listen and see that we are being called in another direction. What we really desire is not the bolstering of our egos but the innocence we lost somewhere along the way. When we can be playful, joyful, and even somewhat carefree, life is good. We want our relationships to work, a place to call home, and to live peaceful lives with our sisters and brothers. Only a servant can do this. The servant’s prayer seeks to detach from self-concern in order to be used by God. Rather than worrying about being first and coming out on top, we can be inspired, guided, empowered, and led to do good works. Stop worrying about being first and put greater energy into feeling joy.



19 de septiembre 2021
25º Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Vivimos en una sociedad llena de celos, envidia, rivalidades y un ego de superioridad y control sobre los demás. Con poquito poder que se le otorgue a la persona, le basta para mandar y ejercer poder sobre el otro, y lo triste es que muchas veces lo vemos como algo habitual y normal. Hoy, la Palabra de Dios nos habla de lo contrario. Las lecturas nos hablan de la sabiduría de Dios y de cómo aplicarla aquí en la tierra. Por sus frutos los conocerán, es decir por hacer el bien, por ser comprensivos, amantes de la paz, dóciles, sinceros y llenos de misericordia. Pero, ¿existe la misericordia?

El Evangelio nos narra, que Jesús instruía a sus discípulos de cómo iba ser su pasión, y ellos no entendían sus palabras.  Ellos, en cambio, estaban enfrascados en una conversación contraria a los deseos de Jesús: ¿Quién de ellos era el más importante? La raíz del problema está en el corazón humano, pensamos y actuamos al contrario de lo que Dios nos pide. Casi siempre se impone la voluntad sobre los demás y esto puede ser sutilmente o de forma agresiva. Jesús tiene la respuesta correcta a toda inquietud mundana. Basta con escuchar su Palabra: “Si alguno quiere ser el primero, que se haga el ultimo y el servidor de todos” (Marcos 9:35). Y agrega algo más para que quede claro: “El que recibe a un niño como este en mi nombre, me recibe a mí; y el que me recibe, no me recibe a mí, sino al que me ha enviado” (Marcos 9:37). Ojalá, que la participación en la Eucaristía, ya sea personalmente o por medio del internet, tenga como fin una sola cosa: la conversión del corazón.