Daily Gospel Reflection – Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
February 21, 2023
Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mk 9: 30-37
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he 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 three days after his death the Son of Man will rise." But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, "What were you arguing about on the way?" But they remained silent. For they had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all." Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, 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."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus presents a child as an archetype to his disciples who were arguing about who was the greatest.
How so? Children don’t know how to hide the truth of their reactions. They haven’t learned yet how to impress others. In this, they are like stars or flowers or animals, things that are what they are, unambiguously. They are in accord with God’s deepest intentions for them.
Children haven’t yet learned how to look at themselves. Why can a child immerse himself so eagerly and thoroughly in what he is doing? Because he can lose himself; because he is not looking at himself, conscious of the reactions, expectations, and approval of those around him.
The problem is that, from a very early age, we learn not to be ourselves, and this is a function of the sinful human construct of the ego. We convince ourselves that joy will come only when we become like someone else, only when we receive the applause of the crowd, only when we live up to the expectations of our group, family, or society.
This causes that terrible cramping of the soul which is pride, the deadliest of the deadly sins.