Mk 9: 30-37
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Our identity comes from being children of God
Jesus told the disciples that the “Son of Man” would be killed and they immediately argued about which of them “was the greatest.” It’s so tempting to compare ourselves to others, but that’s deadly. We either despair because we feel less or we become proud because we think we are better than others.
Jesus rejects comparison and competition. We ought not find our self-worth or identity in anything external, like our appearance or accomplishments. Those don’t last. Only one thing lasts and it is there that we must find our self-worth and identity. You are a beloved son or daughter of God the Father who loves you with the same infinite and unchanging love with which he loves his Son. You have nothing to prove!
How am I tempted to find my self-worth in something other than my identity as a beloved child of God?
Loving God, help me never to forget that the word you spoke to your Son at his baptism, you also spoke to me at my baptism: “You are my beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
—Fr. Jim Kubicki, SJ