Scripture: 1st Reading: James4,1-10; Resp. Psalm: Ps55,7-11,23; Gosp. Accl.: Gal6,14; Gospel: Mk9,30-37
Today, we continue the ordinary season of the year, which was interrupted with the beginning of the seasons of Lent and Easter. Having concluded the Easter season with the solemnity of Pentecost, our liturgical year or church year now continues the ordinary season of the year. This will take us through till the solemnity of Christ, the universal king and the season of advent much later in the year.
We begin the reading of the word by looking at the letter of St. James. There are different types of passions: some are positive, others are negative. A positive passion can lead to zeal, commitment to achieve a goal, success, advancement and so on. Passions could also be negative. In this particular one, the individual is unable to recognize his limitations, puts himself higher than he actually is. It leads to negative results and situations like hatred, jealousy, seeking to destroy others.
Negative passions cause war. Inordinate ambitions destroy. Lack of satisfaction with who we are and what we are can lead us to doom. These passions destroy our inner selves, harm our spiritual lives and existence. The word of God today teaches us that most times we do not have because we do not ask and we ask and do not receive because we ask wrongly. We embrace the world and are friendly with the world and this makes us enemies of God.
The word of God today enjoins on us to be humble in our approach to life's issues, to submit ourselves to God, to resist the devil and draw near to our God. We are to cleanse ourselves of all sin, purify our hearts, mourn and weep for the sins we have committed. We are to humble ourselves before the Lord so that he will exalt us.
This is the point behind our Lord's teaching and rebuke of the disciples in today's gospel passage. Our Lord made a prediction about His passion and death. The disciples instead of a deep reflection and response to this monumental announcement, began to argue on who was the greatest among them. This led our Lord to teach them that whoever wanted to be the first among them must be the last and servant of all.
It is important for us always to set our priorities right. It is important to understand that the values of the hereafter are more to be pursued than the fading values of the here and now. When we set our priorities right, we would know that nothing in this world is of any value really. Then we would be satisfied with what we have and who we are.
Let us pray: O God our heavenly Father, we thank you for the word with which you fed us today. Give us your grace to value the things of heaven more than those of this world. Be with us to guide and direct us in the way to go. Amen.
Kindly remember to pray for the repose of my father, Pa Joseph Igbekele, who died on 18.05.18 and the souls of all the faithful departed. God bless you as you do so.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.