Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Luke 9:46-50
In just five verses we are given two examples of Jesus’ disciples’ power plays. It starts by the disciples arguing about who among them is the greatest. It ends by squabbling between the disciples and those who “do not follow in [their] company” as to who should be “allowed” to cast out demons in Jesus’ name.
In response to the first argument, Jesus, “recognizing the intention of their hearts,” places a child next to Him to illustrate what it truly means to be great. At first I thought the Lord was being ironic because, as any parent can tell you, children argue about who is the greatest between them all of the time. And children argue about who should be allowed to do what every day.
But then I saw that Jesus is not telling them to be like the child (which he does do in a different context) but to receive the child. He is turning the idea of what it means to be great on its head. To be great, receive the child. Receive the child, and you receive Jesus. Receive Jesus, and you receive God the Father.
We all want to great by doing great things. We want to be the ones to work miracles of healing, to have honey-tongued sermons (or blog posts) that increase the fervor of people’s faith, to start mighty organizations that alleviate the suffering of thousands. (And even if you don’t aspire to any of this, at least you might think of those actions as being “great” actions.)
But “greatness” is different in Our Lord’s economy. It is about love. It is about service. It is about receiving the poor, the outcast, the child.
Fortunately for those of us who lack the talent and/or resources to do things the world thinks of as great, we all have an equal opportunity of greatness in the way God reckons it. Go and receive God in the guise of the cranky next-door neighbor. Receive God in the man who comes to church in ill-kept clothes. Receive God by welcoming another child to your family. Go be truly great.
Who has God put in your life as a way of receiving Him?
Holy God, teach me how to be great in Your economy. Inspire me with ways to receive others in Jesus’ name so that, in so doing, I may receive You.
Copyright 2020 Amanda Woodiel
About the Author
Amanda Woodiel is a Catholic convert, a mother to five children ages 11 to 3, a slipshod housekeeper, an enamored wife, and a “good enough” homeschooler who believes that the circumstances of her life -- both good and bad -- are pregnant with grace. She leads a moms' group at her parish that focuses on simple and meaningful ways to live the liturgical year at home. Amanda blogs at In a Place of Grace.