From the Pastor's Desk
"Unless you become like a little child..
What a strange time we are living in — so many changes, challenged to adapt to so many different things! As you know, on Sundays we do a continuous reading of the Gospel, picking up each Sunday where we left off the Sunday before. Have you noticed how the Gospel passages over the past few weeks hint at a time of transition for Jesus and his disciples? He is now taking them away from the crowds more often. Actually, they are in the final, intense days of preparation for taking over the mission of Jesus. And Jesus wants to prepare them for the difficult days ahead, days when he will no longer be with them in the same physical way, days when they will have to be the teachers and preachers.
Jesus tells them that soon he will be handed over to authorities who will put him to death. But Jesus wants them to know that his death will not be the end. He will rise. And they must be the ones to continue to proclaim the good news of salvation. Jesus (and his disciples) are staying near to Jerusalem; the days of traveling around Galilee are over. The time of the cross is at hand.
Jesus warns the apostles of his coming death, and they end up arguing over which of themselves is the most important. Apparently, the apostles still are clinging to the notion (they had been taught their whole lives) that the Messiah will overthrow everything evil and will reign in righteousness. They wonder what will be their place in the new order, who will be leaders along side Jesus. Who will be his “right-hand” man?
James identifies the source of the conflict (between Jesus and the religious authorities and between the disciples themselves) in the very first line of the Second Reading: jealously and selfishness.
Look at the other scripture readings. The instigators in the First Reading attack the just one out of jealousy. They say they want to prove that God will take care of him, but the truth is that they just want to silence him. And, as mentioned, the disciples are jealous of each other, arguing over which one of them is the most important.
In the Gospel Jesus gives a hallmark of discipleship: hospitality to children. Why children? Because they are basically helpless. They cannot “payback” in a tangible way. Children for the most part are totally dependent on parents or other adults. These folks provide them with food, clothing and shelter, with guidance, security and love. Children in the culture of Jesus’ time and place had no legal rights or social status. To put yourself in their position means letting go of all pretentions, else one would be jealous of all grownups. But Jesus promises that doing so (living like a small child) will bring oneness with him and not only with him but the One who sent him.
Children also are unafraid to reveal their lack of knowledge or understanding. “Why?”, they ask. Then “why?” again. Jesus suggests that children can teach the disciples what it is like to live with uncertainty, unafraid to reveal their own ignorance. The disciples did not understand the passion prediction of Jesus, but were afraid to let it show. Thus, they remained in the dark. Children do not fear losing a social status they don’t possess, nor losing a reputation they don’t yet have. The apostles did. So they chose to remain in a state of misunderstanding, rather than reveal their ignorance. As James puts it, they ask wrongly — just to sound knowledgeable, not really to be enlightened.
We pray for wisdom and courage.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Father Bob has resumed a regular schedule
for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
He will hear confessions on Saturdays before Mass, 3:10 ‐ 3:40.
You may also call for an appointment.
“Dear Padre” page courtesy of:
Mahn Funeral Home
Peaceful Ridge Cemetery
Mausoleum - Monuments - Cremation
900 Main & Mahn Ave - De Soto, MO 63020 - 636-586-2288/515 Collins Ave.-Festus, MO 63028 - 636-937-4444