Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

The fixation of a career

They left from there and began a journey through Galilee  …..He was  ….telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death he 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. 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.” aking 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.” Mk 9,30-37

It is the second time in Mark’s Gospel that Jesus talks about his death and resurrection, but the disciples do not understand what he says, because they are very far from imagining such an epilogue to the great adventure they are living. They would like to ask some explanation, but they do not because the previous time Jesus had spoken about the same topic, “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But he said “Get behind me, Satan” (Mk 8,32-33). That reply was not addressed to Peter, but to the devil who had entered him and, relying on his love for Jesus, had suggested him to prevent Jesus from going on the cross. However, at that time the apostles had learned that they had better not to contradict him on that. So, while they are heading for Capernaum, on the road they prefer talking about something else, and they start discussing about who is the greatest among them, namely Jesus’s lieutenant. The desire to emerge and make a career has surfaced. This is a fixation for any ​​man and woman, even though it is often disguised by the ideals, or the possibility to make a service more qualified, or to obtain greater wealth for the family. Nevertheless – no matter how well disguised – the career is still an idol, even more subtle than those of sex and money, which, at least, show themselves for what they are. In today’s scene, when they get home, Jesus calmly revives the topic and moves the focus from the “career” to service: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all”. After Pentecost this will be the future that they themselves will choose, but, at that point, they will have lived the experience of the passion, death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Indeed, we are purified from our personal ambitions by the experience of pain and our own resurrection, which enable us to find joy in serving the others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *