September 26, 2022 – Monday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092622.cfm)
How accepting and welcoming are we of others? Of our life situations both the difficult and joyful ones? As we grow older the more we encounter and meet people and experience different life situations. Yet, with all of these we could also display an attitude that does not take delight with what comes to us or ignore people, things and events that have become usual and ordinary.
We could become less aware of God’s revelations and invitations because of the many demands we have in life, or because we are feeling bored with life, or because we have become so anxious of what will be there for us tomorrow. We could also grow rejecting of anybody and anything because it does not excite us or give us benefits and advantages.
This is somehow what Jesus wanted to warn for his disciples who have grown cold with one another. Their relationship with each other seemed to become centered on the self, on what they will enjoy and on what they will accumulate. In fact, their relationship has become materialistic and based on self-interest.
This was how Jesus found the intentions of the hearts of the disciples. They were arguing who was the greatest among them because they must have thought that being the greatest, then, they would become the closest to Jesus. They believed that Jesus would become king, inherit an earthly and materialistic kingdom and enjoy political power over many peoples. They wanted to be the greatest and the closest to Jesus so that they too will receive great material rewards.
However, such intention of their hearts turned them to become bitter with each one. There must be malice and greed in their hearts for they cannot recognize that the presence of Jesus himself is already the greatest reward. This was the reason why Jesus brought a child by his side to set an example to them. The child, now the closest to Jesus is the greatest in the kingdom because of the child’s capacity to receive God, to welcome God and to be delighted with God’s presence.
The child who is considered one of the least in that community, was indeed the greatest, because the child does not relate base on benefits but on the child’s dependence to God’s providence. This is evident on how a child completely trusts his/her parents and the goodness of others around him/her.
This is what the story of Job also reveals to us today. In this first part of the Book of Job, he was blessed with many good things in life, property and good family, yet everything was taken away from him. Job remained trusting to God’s providence and goodness even when his life turned bitter and the events traumatic and depressing. Job prayed, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Thus, the Lord calls us today to grow in our capacity to receive God, to welcome people and events in our life like a child who completely trusts the goodness and kindness of others. As we grow in that capacity, may we become more welcoming also of others in our life, and receptive of God’s invitations and revelations even when our life gets rough. Kabay pa.