7th Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Sir 2:1-11

My son, when you come to serve the Lord, stand in justice and fear, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, incline your ear and receive the word of understanding, undisturbed in time of adversity. Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not; thus will you be wise in all your ways. Accept whatever befalls you, when sorrowful, be steadfast, and in crushing misfortune be patient; for in fire gold and silver are tested, and worthy people in the crucible of humiliation. Trust God and God will help you; trust in him, and he will direct your way; keep his fear and grow old therein. You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall. You who fear the Lord, trust him, and your reward will not be lost. You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy. You who fear the Lord, love him, and your hearts will be enlightened. Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the Lord and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken? Has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed? Compassionate and merciful is the Lord; he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth.

Gospel: Mk 9:30-37  

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”  But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him. They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?”  But they remained silent. For they had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms round it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

WHEN YOU SERVE THE LORD, YOU SHOULD PREPARE FOR TRIALS: The First Reading today advices about our spiritual relationship. Serving the Lord comes with challenges. One of these challenges is on one’s way of life as others treat you as an outcast. Yet we are assured that, the Lord will not leave you alone. For this reason, the tribulations of the just do not last. Also, when you become an army general of the Lord, the devil is well aware of this. When the devil fails to get to those who have dedicated their lives to the Lord, he goes after the friends and family members of these servants of God. This is in a bid to “get to them” and distract them in the ministry. Do not get too engrossed in attempting to solve all the problems of your family members. It is not possible. Rather place these problems in the hands of God, after doing what is humanly possible. Pray for them daily. No one has ever called on the Lord in vain. 

PRAYER: Lord help me to serve you always in any capacity despite the suffering and trials, I know that you there to help me. Amen.


IN THE MASTER’S TRACKS: In the Gospel passage, Jesus is neither sulking nor focusing on his self, rather he is teaching on values. We are often used to tearing down the other, destroying reputations and throwing mud at each other. Jesus is however, telling us that we can stand tall without having to push the others down. In a competitive world where I want all attention to be on me, Jesus states that His values stand different. His leadership serves rather than bulldozing and overpowering. “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the gentiles lord it over them” (Mk 10:42-43). He brings out a new outfit of servant leadership: a spirit of servant-hood, and a spirit of self-sacrifice. As we feel tempted to shut down others, and try to win arguments with mere lungpower, let us listen to the words of Jesus; serve one another in Love (Gal 5:13). Let us not forget that in all recorded words of Jesus, he said only once that he would give them an ‘example’ and then he washed their feet (Jn 13:15).