This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Monday Of The Twenty-Sixth Week In Ordinary Time
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An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to him, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me…For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”
I can’t think of a people more resilient than the Jewish people. I also can’t think of a people more head strong than them. After all, they caused so many sleepless nights and countless headaches for their greatest political and spiritual leader, Moses. Talk about an ungovernable and stiff-necked people! Sometimes I wonder if the reason why it took them forty years to get to the Promised Land was so God could wear them down a bit.
The rise and fall of the Jewish people looks an awful lot like the rise and fall of adults on a trampoline. The higher they jumped, the faster they fell. Just as soon as they achieved holiness, they fell into disgrace. Just as soon as they arrived to the Promised Land, they were exiled by foreigners. While one King spent his lifetime building up his Kingdom, his son quickly tore it into two.
The history of the Jews is the true story of an exceptional people who went back and forth on their promises, and with only a few remaining faithful. It was this small and faithful remnant that kept the Jewish people alive. No matter how bad things got, they remained faithful to God and He remained faithful to them. In fact, He is forever “jealous” of them.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I am intensely jealous of Zion, stirred to jealous wrath for her…I will return to Zion, and I will dwell within Jerusalem” (Zech. 8:1-2).
What comes around goes around. What happened to the Jews is happening to us. We are slowly but surely turning our backs on the teachings of Jesus Christ and following the destructive ways of the world. I know. I see and hear it every day. Far too many of my brothers and sisters are beginning to think things are not so bad after all. We can live with this…
Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Are you hiding in your shell? Are you staying silent on the issues of the day? Are you going back and forth on your promises to the Lord?
Are you forgetting about God while in your glory and returning to him only after hitting rock bottom? Or are you always in open rebellion against His commandments?
Jesus took a child and placed it by his side. Why a child? Back then, no one listened to children. Precisely! Exactly! Although no one bothered to listen to children, they still spoke up. Although no one respected children back then, they still did all the hard labor. They still got their hands dirty. They still did all the lifting.
We Christians must continue to be like children: hidden from the world and yet the real hope of the future.
We are not here to seek our own glory, but God’s glory. We are not trying to make a name for ourselves but to share Christ’s name with others.
Let’s continue to lift up society and place it on our shoulders. After all, if we won’t, who will? (44)