What were you discussing on the way?

Mark 9:30-37

They went on from there and passed thought Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teahin his disciples, sayint to them,  “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and hey will kill im; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him.

And they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he aksed them, “What were you discussing on the way?”  But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest.  And he sat down and called the Twelve and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

Word of Jesus’ teaching, authority and power have spread. Every where He goes, there are crowds, pushing in on him, asking for miracles, expecting something great to happen.  In this story, Jesus sneaks away from the crowds so that He can teach and guide his Tweleve Apostles for the great task that they will have of leading his Church and spreading His Gospel to “the ends of the earth.” He foretells his passion, death and resurrection. He is sharing with them important and intimate details about himself.  He gave up the glory of being God and became man to suffer, die, and rise. He does this to save humanity from sin and death, and to open Heaven to mankind. He is speaking to them of the coming climax of his earthly life and the great task he has come to accomplish. What is their reaction?

Silence. They don’t understand, and they’re afraid to ask questions.  When they do begin to speak again, what do they speak about? They argue about which one is the greatest.

What foolishness and vanity! Blinded by their pride and ambition, they do not even recognize the sifnificance of what Jesus is telling them, or how painful it might be for him. Jesus patiently corrects them. “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

Reflection

We all want to be well thought of and liked. But this cannot be a driving force for us Christians. Look at your relationships, do you try to show others how important you are, or are you content to be quietly serving others?

Activity

Next time you are with a group of classmates or friends, try not to speak. Try to really listen to what the others are saying.

Jesus-Disciples-Listening-to-Him

Amazing Faith

Luke 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not conisder myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here, ‘ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this and he does it.”  When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him…

How does one amaze the God-Man?

Faith. Jesus says, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

The Centurion is a Roman soldier. The Romans were pagans who often worshipped many false gods. The Israelites were the “Chosen People” of God. God had revealed himself to them and continually saved them and cared for them. They should have had great faith, and indeed many did.  But let us compare the faith of the Jewish elders in this story to that of this Roman soldier.

Remember that the soldier sent “elders of the Jews to Jesus” because he did not believe himself worthy of asking Jesus’s help. What do the elders say? “He deserves to have you do this for him…” The soldier is so humble, he will not approach Jesus. The elders on the other hand tell Jesus, “this man deserves to have you to do this for him.” While they tell Jesus what he should do, the soldier acknowledges that he is not even worthy to have Jesus enter his house. He humbly awaits Jesus’s command, knowing that even a word from Jesus will accomplish all that he asks.

For Reflection:

As Christians, we have been baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and given the gift of faith. Do we believe that Jesus owes us something? or are we like the Roman centurions, humblying asking for Jesus to make us worthy of his help?

Prayer:

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter my house, but only say the word,

and I shall be healedrome-clipart-roman-centurion-10

If you have thoughts you would like to share…

Even the demons testify to Jesus.

Gospel Lk 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.He taught them on the sabbath,and they were astonished at his teachingbecause he spoke with authority.In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice,“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?Have you come to destroy us?I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”Then the demon threw the man down in front of themand came out of him without doing him any harm.They were all amazed and said to one another,“What is there about his word?For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,and they come out.”And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

          This reading comes early in the Gospel of Luke, in the fourth chapter. The chapter begins with Jesus going into the desert, to fast and pray for 40 days, in preparation for his public ministry.  After his time of prayer and fasting, he goes first, to his home town of Nazareth. Jesus preaches in the temple there, but the people reject him. They are surprised that Jesus, a carpenter and the son of Joseph, could preach with authority and grace.  Still they are curious.  They want to see him perform signs, almost as a test.  But they are full of jealousy and doubt. Jesus knows this. They refuse to believe that Jesus is really the Christ so, “They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill … to hurl him down headlong.” (Lk 4:29)  But Jesus escapes with ease.

         Next Jesus goes to this town of Capernaum, where again people are astonished at his teaching.  But here, he is not mere spectacle of curiosity. Rather the people are astonished “because he spoke with authority.”  They acknowledge his authority in his words.  Then, as confirmation of his authority, he preforms a great sign. He commands an unclean demon out of a man. The demons recognize what the people of Nazareth refused to acknowledge. The demons cry out, “you are the Holy One of God!”  Not only that, the demons obey him! At the word of Jesus, the demons leave the man in peace.

Reflection:       

 What about us? Do we recognize the authority of Jesus? Do we obey? For if we don’t we are truly fools!  Even the worst enemies of Jesus recognize his power and serve him.3234343kksdl

Prayer:

You alone are the Holy One! You alone are the Lord! You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ!