Today’s readings invite us to become great in the sight of God by doing God’s will, as Jesus did, surrendering our lives in the service of others.
The passage from the Book of Wisdom sounds like a messianic prophecy similar to the “Suffering Servant” prophecy in Isaiah referring to Christ’s passion. It urges us to choose the path of righteousness in spite of painful consequences.
In today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 54), the psalmist prays for help against the insolent people who rise against the upright.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us a glimpse of what walking that path is, namely, welcoming and serving the vulnerable in our midst: the defenseless children, the despairing poor, the mentally ill and the marginalized. Jesus also teaches his apostles that child-like humility and selfless service make one great in the eyes of God.
"Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice." (James 3:16) In today’s Gospel we see the disciples acting very...well...human. They are bickering about who is the greatest among them. While this is not a very polite behavior, yet a very human tendency. Jesus teaches them that in order to be greater they have to allow themselves to be less. What does he mean by this? Often being a good steward means doing your very best without public acknowledgement, accolades, promotions, etc. Often it means humbling yourself and doing work that points to the greatness in others. This is being “fully alive.” While the word "servant" does not always appeal to us, it is a fitting description of Jesus. If we are seeking a life of holiness, we must remember Jesus’ words: "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all."
Indeed, all parishes within the Diocese of Honolulu are restoring the Original Order of the Sacraments of Initiation between 2018-2020.
In the early Church, the person was immersed into the waters of Baptism, anointed with chrism, and shared in the Eucharistic meal as part of a single event. Over time, and for many reasons, the celebration of these three sacraments became separated from one another. In the renewal stemming from the Second Vatican Council, the Church was asked to more clearly set forth the intimate connection of Confirmation with the whole of Christian initiation. This original order also helps us recognize that sharing in the Eucharist completes our initiation into the Church and that it is Eucharist which is the “source and summit of our faith.”
Go to www.catholichawaii.org for more information on this