25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Call to worship

When Jesus embraces a child, he shows his disciples how to find greatness — walking intimately with Jesus, being powerless, embracing servanthood, lifting up the lowly, accepting our limitations, and the inevitability of human suffering.

  • To the point: How the disciples continue to misunderstand the deepest truth about what the “Son of Man” is to undergo! While Jesus is speaking of his impending suffering, death and rising, the disciples are quibbling over “who is the greatest” among them. They are brought to silence twice by Jesus because they still cannot accept the true meaning of Jesus’ identity and mission. By embracing a child, Jesus reveals concretely who he is- the One least among us who has come to serve.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Mark 9:30-37) to the first reading: The “just one” who is faithful will suffer at the hands of the wicked. Nonetheless, God will “take care of” the “just one.” God did not save Jesus from suffering and death at the hands of those who rejected his teaching, but God did raise Jesus to new life. God does “take care of” those who are faithful.
  • Connecting the Gospel to our experience: Spouses spend all their married lives coming to know one another and building a shared identity. Coming to know, understand, and accept the identity of Jesus also takes a lifetime of learning and commitment. But it grants an eternity of fullness of life.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Mark 9: 30-37)

If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.

Who is greatest? Who is first?
Jesus, you were born in a stable
needing everything, having only life.
Then you were on the cross,
needing everything, having no life.
Yet you are greatest of all.
You taught the disciples
as you journeyed through Galilee.
Teach us. To love you.
To care for your children, to serve your poor,
to welcome the immigrant, to free the prisoner.
Lord, we ask you, give us only your grace.

The First Reading

(Wisdom 2: 12, 17-20)

Let us find out what will happen to him.

He answered the mocking tongues with silence only
Never did he ask anyone to take his cross away,
or wipe the blood and saliva from his face.
Forsaken, he cried out to his Father,
just one time before he died.
His mother and his friends
laid him out in a borrowed tomb.

He had shown his gentleness to
the Father, to us as well.
And, yes, God took care of him,
and us in him. It was for us he came,
for us he suffered, for us he won the battle.
He rose from the dead and because of this, so do we.
God loved the world and all of us in it.
Death, where is your sting?

The Second Reading

(James 3: 16- 4:3)

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.

Lord, please help us to care for your garden of peace,
cleaving only to your holy teachings: to feed them with love,
sprinkle them with truth, weed them every day,
make room for them to grow, sow some seeds
(hardy ones, such as mercy and forgiveness) and wait
Then, finally to share his goodness
(with everyone we know.)

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection