Bishop Richard J. Sklba
A reading this morning from the 9th chapter of the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
Glory to you O lord.
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee. But Jesus did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them "The son of man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him. And 3 days after his death the son of man will rise." But the disciples did not understand the saying and they were afraid to question him. They came to Cafarnaum and once inside the house he began to ask them "What were you arguing about on the way?" But they remained silent. You see they had been discussing among themselves on the way "Who is the greatest?" Then he sat down, called the 12 and said to them "If anyone wishes to be first they shall be the last of all in the servant of all," and taking a child Jesus placed it in their midst and putting his arms around the child he said to them "Whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. And whoever receives me receives not me but the one who sent me."
Sisters and brothers, the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you lord Jesus Christ.
Dear friends. In Mark's gospel the disciples are constantly described as incomprehending, slightly dull witted, if you will, they just never got it. Maybe they couldn't imagine such a terrible fate coming to their beloved teacher or maybe their lack of understanding was only another way of signaling about something about the great Messianic secret, namely the fact that Jesus did not want to admit that he was the Messiah because he couldn't fulfill their notion of the Messiah, with its narrow political and military construct. It was much bigger in his mind than anything they could imagine. And so they talk about a Messianic secret. We struggle to understand all the sorrows and heartaches in our own lives not just those that came to Jesus during his earthly ministry and we ask ourselves "Well, why this?" and "Why me?" whenever sadness comes visiting our hearts or our lives or our homes. Maybe we all need to become more like the little children whom the Lord welcomed and praised and commended. They weep and cry quickly moving from one thing to another because they're invested in the moment, they're also people of great confidence. They're open to learning, they keep asking why, not afraid to ask why again and again. They're eager to help even if their cooperation makes things a little more difficult once in a while and they're not ashamed to show their dependence, to take somebody else's hand and to depend on someone else. Good models for all of us all the way through life. And it's attitudes of children like that which accompany us through the troubles of life and bring us to the glory and the victory promised by God in the resurrection. My brothers and sisters in our worship guide let's rise to profess the faith we share in the Apostle's Creed, page 32.
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