Ecclesiasticus 2: 1-11
Mark 9: 30-37
The task Jesus sets his disciples and us in today’s gospel is a difficult one, to say the least. To welcome him into our lives, we must be humble, making ourselves last of all and servant of all, welcoming the innocent, the vulnerable and the defenceless in his name.
In the earlier words of Ecclesiasticus, whatever happens to us, we must accept it, and in the uncertainties of our humble state, be patient since our mettle, like gold, is tested in fire. Our trust, our hope and our steadfastness in the lord will bring us the reward of salvation.
Humility is a wonderful gift, and although much admired in others is often an illusive and difficult blessing for many of us. Often when we are challenged in our beliefs, behaviours or opinions, the natural response is to go on the defensive, to double down and dig in rather than be open and receptive, accepting of what has been presented even though it may be hurtful.
And yet that is what we are called to do: to put aside our sense of self, our conceits and our hubris; to turn our focus away from ourselves toward others; to be open to the call of the lord, however confronting or uncomfortable that call might be.
Our Faith tells us that we won’t be forsaken, won’t be ignored; it will carry us through in confidence that whatever happens, the lord will be with us.
But it is a struggle.
Phil Page is a member of the St Joseph’s Hobart Parish