God of Liberation
In order to be first, you must be last. What does this statement mean to you? In the time of the Israelites, it symbolized a Covenant, a bond between the people and God. God could have chosen to aid and support the Egyptians, which would have certainly brought about their downfall. However, God helps those who were the least, those who struggled the most for freedom. As we learn from the person of Jesus, he didn't come primarily for those who were already believing, those who had steady lives and knew him. He came to help the sinners, the weak, the poor, those in need of liberation. He came to change our point of view, to push us towards a better world. Think about how the world would have progressed if Jesus didn't enlighten us of God's love and plan for all people.
Today's Gospel states:'They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise." But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him. And they came to Caper'na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me"' (Mark 9:30-37).
Today's Gospel talks about how Jesus pushes for not only the disciples, but all people to receive those in need of love, those who are in most need of change. How often do we move through the motions in our comfortable lives, day by day, and ignore those passing by us, let alone those we see on a street corner who are homeless and desperately need a helping hand? Take some time to ask God to help you examine areas where you can step us and make a change for those who need it the most.
Today's prayer comes from 'social justice' a prayer for aid and justice:
Father, you have given all peoples one common origin. It is your will that they be gathered together as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love and with the desire to ensure justice for all. By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure an equality for all our brothers and sisters throughout the world. May there be an end to division, strife and war. May there be a dawning of a truly human society built on love and peace. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.